SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING ON PEACE AND SECURITY IN AFRICA:
THE SITUATION IN TIGRAY
THURSDAY 26TH AUGUST 2021 AT 3:00 AM
STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR MARTIN KIMANI, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF KENYA
ON BEHALF OF THE A-3+1
(KENYA, NIGER, ST. VINCENT, AND THE GRENADINES AND TUNISIA)
1. I have the honor to make this statement on behalf of the A3+1, namely Kenya, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tunisia.
2. I thank the Secretary General for his briefing on the latest developments in Ethiopia. We commend his engagement with Ethiopian leadership, the African Union, and regional leaders. We believe that his good offices can play an important role in facilitating a resolution of the current situation.
3. We have heard the important information, insights and concerns expressed by our fellow members of the Security Council. We indeed share similar points of view with many of them.
4. The violence presently afflicting the people and country of Ethiopia is the product of conflicting views of the country’s future. It has erupted and worsened because the country’s conflict prevention and resolution tools have, until now, been inadequate to the task.
5. The resolution to this crisis requires that we undertake a mediation of the deep divides as part of an Ethiopian-owned process supported by the available Peace and Security Architecture and practices especially those of the African Union.
6. As the A3+1, we observe that on every side of the conflict there is a growing perception of ethnic identity being the basis of conflict. The opposed sides give short shrift to each other’s grievances, and regard opposition to their own view as illegitimate.
7. The opposed constituencies, reflecting the present political character of Ethiopia, are organized along ethnic lines. This makes them uniquely dangerous because they easily conflate political opposition to a struggle between ethnicities.
8. We have witnessed with profound concern the resulting terrible harms that have befallen innocent civilians. And if the present course is not changed, we fear that it may get far worse.
9. We have condemned, and continue to condemn, the violence against civilians. The killings of boys and men not in uniform. The destruction of civilian objects. The confrontations that have led to the blocking of humanitarian aid being delivered to desperate families. In particular we register our strongest protest against the horrific human rights violations and acts of sexual violence perpetrated against girls and women.
10. Our values as a continent, as captured with such gravity in the African Union’s Constitutive Act, demand ‘respect for the sanctity of human life and the condemnation and rejection of impunity’.
11. To put an end to this violence, our values must inspire and drive practical action.
12. In our last statement on the 2nd of July, we welcomed the democratic aspirations of the Ethiopian people as expressed in the last elections. We return to this important moment for Ethiopia to argue that democracy, above all, is a mechanism for the resolution of serious political differences.
13. The democratic mandate awarded by the millions of voters must include every Ethiopian citizen. Even, and perhaps especially, in Tigray, and other parts of the country where the vote was not held due to insecurity.
14. The democratic mandate will