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European Parliament adopts strong resolution of 26 November 2020 on the war against Tigrai state by Ethiopia

European Parliament
Tigrai Online Nov. 27, 2020

European Parliament adopts strong resolution of 26 November 2020

Situation in Ethiopia
European Parliament resolution of 26 November 2020 on the situation in Ethiopia (2020/2881(RSP))

R. whereas the fighting has caused thousands of deaths and injuries on both sides and has resulted in grave human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law; whereas, according to the UNHCR, as of 22 November 2020 over 38 500 refugees had fled the conflict and crossed the border into Sudan; whereas the UN has warned of a ‘large-scale humanitarian crisis’ and its agencies are planning for the possible arrival of 200 000 refugees over a six-month period; whereas the fighting is also causing the internal displacement of the population; whereas the UNHCR has already asked the two parties to the conflict to open corridors to allow people to leave and supplies to arrive at the same time; whereas international humanitarian organisations on the ground are illequipped and face shortages of supplies needed to treat newly arriving refugees and victims of violence; whereas the UN agencies are seeking USD 50 million in immediate funding which will go towards providing food and setting up new camps; whereas the European Commission is mobilising an initial EUR 4 million in emergency assistance to help support the displaced people arriving in Sudan;


  • Is deeply concerned about recent developments in Ethiopia, including the ongoing violence and allegations of serious breaches of fundamental human rights; deplores the current armed conflict between the federal government of Ethiopia and the regional administration of Tigray led by the TPLF; calls on both parties to commit to an immediate ceasefire and to solve political divergences by democratic means within the framework of the country’s constitution in order to find a lasting peaceful solution, establish a ceasefire monitoring mechanism, and work towards building national consensus through an inclusive dialogue;
  • Expresses its solidarity with the victims and the families of those affected; deplores the loss of life and killings of innocent civilians and the extrajudicial killings, regardless of their perpetrators;
  • Calls on Ethiopia’s central government and the TPLF to take immediate action to deescalate the conflict; insists that all actors strictly follow a human-centred security approach;
  • Deplores the fact that access for humanitarian workers is currently severely restricted; calls on the Ethiopian Government to give humanitarian organisations immediate and unrestricted access to the areas where there is conflict in order to ensure humanitarian aid; warns of the danger of a major humanitarian crisis in the country, as well as in neighbouring states and the wider region;
  • Notes with concern the ultimatum issued by Prime Minister Abiy to Tigray forces urging them to surrender and stating that, otherwise a military assault on the regional capital Mekelle would be pursued;
  • Recalls that deliberate attacks against civilians constitute war crimes; calls on forces on both sides to respect international human rights and international humanitarian law and to ensure the protection of people in affected areas; urges all sides to the conflict, and regional authorities, to minimise harm to the civilian population and to ensure and allow access to basic services for civilians at all times;
  • Notes with grave concern that inter-ethnic tensions and violence are rising in Ethiopia; considers it of the utmost importance that the Ethiopian and Tigrayan authorities exercise responsible leadership by fostering an inclusive political environment for all actors and ethnic groups;
  • Urges the federal authorities to end the practice of arbitrary arrests and surveillance or otherwise targeting ethnic groups; calls on the Ethiopian authorities to take strong measures against any ethnic profiling and to ensure the protection of ethnic minorities across the country; calls on the Ethiopian Government to implement reforms that protect human rights and guarantee equal access to government services and resources for all ethnic groups;
  • Is deeply concerned about the growing spread of misinformation and the use of hate speech, pitting ethnic groups against one another to stoke the current conflict in Tigray; calls on all parties involved in the conflict to refrain from using inflammatory language and hate speech both off- and online; urges national and local authorities, media organisations and the public to refrain from engaging in incitement to violence towards, discrimination of, or hostility against populations at risk;
  • Calls on Ethiopia’s neighbouring states, including Eritrea, as well as other states in the wider region, such as the countries of the Nile basin, to refrain from all political and military interventions that could fuel the conflict; emphasises that failure to do so risks destabilising the wider region with disastrous consequences for international peace and security; emphasises the crucial role Ethiopia’s neighbouring states can play in providing diplomatic support towards de-escalation of the conflict;
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  • Expresses its full support for African Union-led mediation and de-escalation efforts initiated by the South African presidency of the AU, notably the nomination of three AU Special Envoys, and calls on all parties involved to actively cooperate and engage with the AU’s mediation efforts; calls on the Ethiopian authorities to cooperate with efforts by international organisations, such as the African Union, the IGAD and the European Union, to enter into an inclusive dialogue in an effort to achieve peace, security and stability in the country and in the region;
  • Is deeply concerned about the de facto communications blackout in the northern Tigray region; urges the Ethiopian Government to restore all forms of communication to Tigray as an act of accountability and transparency for its military operations in the region and to allow free communication among the people of Tigray; stresses the importance of, and the need for, access to information both online and offline, as the right of all people to be informed and to access information is particularly vital in a crisis situation; urges that independent reporting on the situation be allowed; insists on the importance of immediately granting independent media access to Tigray; urges the Ethiopian Government to fully respect the freedoms of expression, association and of the press, as provided for in the Ethiopian Constitution, and to release unjustly detained journalists and bloggers; firmly believes that peaceful protest is part of a democratic process and that responding with excessive force should be avoided under all circumstances;
  • Calls on all parties to the conflict to guarantee the safe and free movement of civilians and to ensure that the right of freedom of assembly is upheld;
  • Calls on all parties involved in the conflict in the northern Tigray region to guarantee unrestrained access to independent human rights monitors to ensure that international human rights standards are being upheld; calls on all sides in the conflict to work closely with relevant actors to conduct a transparent investigation into the Mai-Kadra massacre, and calls for the perpetrators of this crime to be held to account and prosecuted without delay;
  • Calls on the Ethiopian federal authorities to conduct a thorough, independent, effective and impartial investigation into any and all killings and human rights violations, including use of excessive force, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances, and calls on the Tigrayan authorities to cooperate in these investigations; calls on all Ethiopian authorities to actively combat impunity; reminds the Ethiopian Government of its obligations to guarantee fundamental rights, including access to justice and the right to a fair and independent trial, as provided for in the African Charter and other international and regional human rights instruments, including the Cotonou Agreement; insists that the Ethiopian authorities ensure that the fair and impartial rule of law is respected and upheld throughout Ethiopia;
  • Calls for close cooperation between EU humanitarian aid entities and the UNHCR, and for the UNHCR to continue to provide support to the refugees who have fled from this crisis, including near the areas they fled from; recalls that the Ethiopian Government is responsible for the safety and security of refugees and internally displaced persons on its territory; recalls that over 96 000 Eritrean refugees are mostly sheltered in refugee camps in the Tigray region; supports the appeals of the international community and humanitarian organisations for increased assistance to refugees and displaced persons;
  • Calls for the EU and its partners to support the Sudanese Government and local authorities in responding urgently to calls to host the Ethiopian refugees fleeing the fighting in the Tigray region; expresses its appreciation for Sudan’s readiness to welcome refugees fleeing the conflict; highlights the urgent need for preparations for the arrival of up to 200 000 refugees in Sudan; notes that Ethiopia is an important country of destination, transit and origin for migrants; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that all funded projects initiated within the framework of the EU Trust Fund for Africa respect human rights, in particular the rights of migrants and IDPs;
  • Calls for the urgent mobilisation, as well as the structured and concerted deployment, of additional resources by the EU and its Member States to address all-encompassing needs triggered by the conflict;
  • Welcomes the Ethiopian Government’s commitment to holding general elections in 2021; urges all political actors across the country to engage in a political dialogue involving citizens from across the political, ideological, regional and ethnic spectrum ahead of the elections; firmly underlines that free, fair, inclusive and credible elections can only take place in an atmosphere free from intimidation, violence and harassment, with guaranteed freedom of speech and association, in line with international norms; regrets that the commitment to free elections has been undermined by the detention of several opposition politicians from across the political spectrum since June 2020 and by serious due process violations that undermine detainees’ rights to a fair trial; calls on the authorities to release all those detained unless they are charged with legally recognisable offenses and can be prosecuted in accordance with international fair trial standards;
  • Expresses its commitment to the unity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia and calls on all actors inside Ethiopia to work towards the peaceful solution of any conflict inside the country;
  • Calls for the EU to continue to use all necessary diplomatic means to engage with the federal and regional authorities, as well as with regional partners and multilateral institutions, in order to resolve the conflict in a peaceful manner;
  • Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the European External Action Service, the Federal Government and House of Federation of Ethiopia, the Tigrayan authorities, the Government of the Republic of Sudan, the governments of the IGAD, the African Union and its Member States, the Pan-African Parliament, and the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

Read the whole resolution European Parliament resolution of 26 November 2020 on the situation in Ethiopia (2020/2881(RSP)) European Parliament


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