UNSC Diplomats Reaffirm Respect for Sovereignty of Ethiopia, Commend Unilateral Ceasefire

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July 3/2021(ENA)Diplomats at the UN Security Council (UNSC) have reaffirmed their respect and commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia and commended the government for the unilateral ceasefire it declared over Tigray.

Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, Ambassador Dai Bing said at the UNSC discussion held yesterday that China has been closely following the situation in Tigray.

“China believes that the Ethiopian people have the wisdom and capability to properly solve this issue. When offering help, the international community must fully respect the sovereignty and ownership of Ethiopia, and jointly help Ethiopia tide over the difficulty,” the ambassador stated.

Furthermore, Ambassador Bing said that China welcomes the recent announcement of unilateral ceasefire by the Ethiopian Government to guarantee the normal agricultural and humanitarian activities in Tigray.

“China hopes to see a complete ceasefire in Tigray and supports relevant parties to solve their differences through political dialogue so that all the Ethiopian people, including people in Tigray, can enjoy peace and stability and achieve development and prosperity,” he underlined.

According to him, the Government of Ethiopia has actively responded to the humanitarian need in Tigray by providing aid to the people in need, restoring local production and normal life and fully opening humanitarian access, all of which have yielded sound outcomes. Yet, humanitarian assistance for Tigray still faces severe shortage of resources.

The international community should provide greater emergency humanitarian assistance and the UN guiding principles of humanitarian emergency assistance should be fully observed, he stressed.

The Tigray issue falls within Ethiopia’s internal affairs, Ambassador Dai Bing noted, adding that “in helping solve the Tigray issue, the international community must fully respect Ethiopia’s sovereignty and ownership, with an aim to jointly help Ethiopia tide over the difficulty and safeguard peace and stability in Ethiopia and the wider region.”  

The Security Council should prudently handle the timing and method regarding the settlement of the Tigray issue to ensure that the Council will play a positive role in improving the Tigray situation, not the other way around, the Chinese ambassador underscored.

Russians Permanent Representative at the UN Security Council, Vassily Nebenzia said his country is closely following the developments of the complex military and political situation.

“We believe that the unilateral decision to immediately cease fire in Tigray that the Federal Government of Ethiopia took on 28 June was a step in the right direction,” he added.

Hopefully, all opposing sides will demonstrate the political will which would help stop the bloodshed, improve humanitarian situation, and ensure step-by-step socio-economic stabilization, Nebenzia stated.

“We proceed from the assumption that the leading role in settlement of the Ethiopian conflict is to be played by Ethiopians themselves – under the assistance of the African community in the first place.”

He noted that the Government of Ethiopia has  in recent months contributed a lot to restoring the ruined infrastructure and responding to humanitarian needs of the region.

According to the information available, the total spending on these aspects exceeds 2.5 billion USD, the Russian diplomat said, adding that “we call on UN OCHA and humanitarian agencies that are present in the region to further maintain these efforts as per UNGA resolution 46/182 and give strict observance of the guiding principles of humanitarian assistance. We expect the humanitarian community to develop an objective vision of the humanitarian situation in Tigray and define the real needs of the regional population.”

He pointed out that Russia is ready to continue promoting normalization in Tigray. “We are convinced that politicizing of this issue is unacceptable. The situation in Tigray must remain an internal affair of Ethiopia. Interference of the Security Council in resolving this issue would be counterproductive.”

Permanent Representative of India to the UNSC, Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti said on his part India welcomes the decision of the Government of Ethiopia declaring humanitarian ceasefire to address humanitarian situation in Tigray region.

He reiterated India’s strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ethiopia.

Kenya’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UNSC, Martin Kimani said “As Africans we will not agree now or in the future for this debate to be turned into a platform that undermines the people and state of Ethiopia.”

He stressed that the UNSC should always listen to Africa when it comes to African issues. The Council should also allow the continent a space to resolve its challenges with the support of the international community.

Kimani pointed out that the “A3 +1 (Kenya, Niger, Tunisia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) conclude by reaffirming our respect and full commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia. We stand in solidarity of the people and the Government Ethiopia at this defining moment in their pursue to sustainable peace that is conducive to nation building and prosperity.”