UN Security Council Fails to Agree on Statement Calling for Ceasefire in Ethiopia

The 15-member United Nations Security Council failed to agree on adopting a statement calling for a ceasefire in Tigray, Ethiopia, and expressing concern about alleged arrests based on ethnic identity.

The draft text submitted by Ireland, a non-permanent member of the Council, was rejected by China and Russia and was “abandoned” on Friday night, a diplomatic source affirmed.

Several other diplomatic sources said that “there is no agreement” and some believed that the draft was rushed.

The Russian diplomatic mission acknowledged the existence of a dispute over the text, while it was not possible to obtain an immediate comment from the Chinese mission.

According to the draft text obtained by AFP, the Council called for “unimpeded humanitarian access, an end to hostilities and the launch of a comprehensive national dialogue” in Ethiopia.

The draft stresses the council members’ concerns about “reports of large-scale arrests in Ethiopia on the basis of ethnic identity and without due process.” It also denounces “hate speech.”

Last week, Ethiopia declared a nationwide six-month state of emergency amid growing fears that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters and their allies would advance towards the capital, Addis Ababa.

Several countries have called on their nationals to leave Ethiopia while the conflict between the rebels and government forces north of the country escalates.

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