Ethiopia: Humanitarian Situation

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 6th July 2021.

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Photo of Feryal Clark Feryal Clark Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations he has made to the (a) African Union and (b) United Nations on humanitarian access, food insecurity and allegations of serious human rights abuses and atrocities in Ethiopia.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

I have discussed the situation in Tigray with the African Union's Peace and Security Commissioner Bankole on several occasions. I also expressed my concerns about Tigray to the speaker of the Ethiopian House of Peoples Representatives when we met in Zambia last week. We are supporting the African Union Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights Inquiry into Tigray and are calling on the Government of Ethiopia to allow the Inquiry's access to the Tigray region.

The UK has made clear at the UN Security Council our concerns over the continued lack of progress with humanitarian access, and ongoing human rights abuses and violations. We are seeking a full discussion of Tigray at the Security Council. We are supporting a joint investigation of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) into human rights violations and abuses in Tigray to ensure the investigation is independent, transparent and impartial. The UK is also working with partners to raise the situation in Tigray at the Human Rights Council. The Government of Ethiopia has announced a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire in Tigray. We welcome this and continue to call for all parties to respect international humanitarian law and prevent their forces from doing anything to hinder the critical work of the UN and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

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