Tigray: Politics and Government

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 26th September 2022.

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Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Labour, Wallasey

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the (a) humanitarian, (b) political and (c) human rights situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Labour, Wallasey

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help support the peace talks in the Tigray region in Ethiopia.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The breakdown of the truce and return to conflict between the Tigray People's Liberation Front and the Ethiopian Government is catastrophic for the people of Ethiopia. It risks tens of thousands of deaths, both directly through fighting and indirectly through a further deepening of the already dire humanitarian situation. 22 months since fighting began, it is clear that there is no military solution to the conflict.

There is currently no humanitarian access to Tigray by land or air. The UK is urging all parties to the conflict to ensure humanitarian access to northern Ethiopia, including by immediately reinstating the cessation of hostilities. We remain confident that progress towards peace can be made if talks begin. We have welcomed the commitment by both parties to ending the conflict through dialogue, and are now urging both parties to deliver on these commitments and to begin African Union-led peace talks.

The 19 September report by the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that violations, such as extrajudicial killings, rape, sexual violence, and the starvation of the civilian population as a method of warfare have been committed in Ethiopia since the conflict began. The breakdown of the truce risks further atrocities. Our Embassy in Addis Ababa is engaging with all parties of the conflict and urging them to prioritise the protection of civilians and cease fighting.

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