Belgium expresses its concern about the escalation of the conflict in northern Ethiopia and the looming humanitarian crisis. Belgium calls for an immediate ceasefire by all parties involved. Minister of Development Cooperation Meryame Kitir: “Humanitarian actors must be given timely, independent, unimpeded and unconditional humanitarian access to the Tigray region in order to provide indispensable assistance in a safe manner to the population in need“.
Minister Kitir discussed the situation in Ethiopia today with the EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič and warns: “If this situation continues, it will cause tremendous harm to the people of Tigray, throughout Ethiopia, and even in the region. All the progress that has been made in recent decades is in danger of being lost. The humanitarian consequences of the conflict are already tangible“.
Belgium also calls on all parties involved to respect international humanitarian law and human rights. Belgium is alarmed by the reports of, among others, Amnesty International on alleged killings and in line with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, calls for an immediate and independent investigation.
The use of ethnically inspired hate speech that incites to violence is also very disturbing. This threatens to drag the country into a destructive vicious circle.
Belgium calls for an inclusive national dialogue to solve the underlying problems of the conflict.