UN / ETHIOPIA

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08-Nov-2021 00:03:59
UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo said the risk of Ethiopia “descending into widening civil war is only too real” adding that the political repercussions of “intensifying violence in the wider region would be immense, compounding the many crises besetting the Horn of Africa.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / ETHIOPIA
TRT: 3:59
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 08 NOVEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE- NEW YORK CITY

1. Close up, UN flag outside headquarters

08 NOVEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, United Nations:
“In a country of over 110 million people, over 90 different ethnic groups and 80 languages, no one can predict what continued fighting and insecurity will bring. But let me clear: What is certain is that the risk of Ethiopia descending into widening civil war is only too real. That would bring about a humanitarian catastrophe and consume the future of such an important country. The political repercussions of intensifying violence in the wider region would be immense, compounding the many crises besetting the Horn of Africa.”
4. Wide shot, delegates
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, United Nations:
“Ethiopia, a founding member of the United Nations, needs our support. We urge Ethiopians to come together to build a shared, prosperous future before it is too late.”
6. Wide shot, delegates
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Olusegun Obasanjo, High Representative for the Horn of Africa, African Union:
“As summary to our discussions, all these leaders here in Addis Ababa and in the north, agree individually, that the differences between them are political and require political solutions through dialogue. This, therefore, constitutes a window of opportunity that we can collectively tap into to assist the people of Ethiopia to find a lasting solution to the ongoing crisis. It is, however, important to mention the window of opportunity we have is very little and that the time is short for any intervention in this regard.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Taye Atskeselassie Amde, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations:
“Diversity is not Ethiopia’s problem. Our challenge is not, as some reluctantly posit, a failure to manage diversity. Diversity is Ethiopia’s asset. Our problem is a criminal group that refused to accept equality and let go of ill-gained supremacy and privilege.”
10. Wide shot, delegates
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Taye Atskeselassie Amde, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations:
“TPLF (Tigray People’s Liberation Front) is emboldened and numbed itself to an extent, it stopped counting the lives of Ethiopians from Tigray it sacrifices on its hopeless journey. It is emboldened to a level; it threatens to unseat a popularly elected Federal Government and destabilize a nation of 112 million people. We again reiterate our plea for the supporters of this group that have be providing it with communication equipment, satellite information, weapons and even fighters to desist from this. It is not only illegal, but also an immoral act.”
12. Wide shot, Security Council
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Taye Atskeselassie Amde, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations:
“We remind everyone concerned that there are no two parties here. There is a government representing the will of the Ethiopian people and representing the Ethiopian state; and there is a group advancing its criminal cause through atrocities. Any attempt, including the media campaign we have been witnessing in the past few days, to launder TPLF and diminish the horror it committed against the Ethiopian people will only be counterproductive.”
14. Wide shot, Security Council

STORYLINE:

UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo said the risk of Ethiopia “descending into widening civil war is only too real” adding that the political repercussions of “intensifying violence in the wider region would be immense, compounding the many crises besetting the Horn of Africa.”

Addressing the Security Council today (08 Nov), the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs said, despite much speculation on how the Ethiopian crisis will unfold in the coming weeks, “In a country of over 110 million people, over 90 different ethnic groups and 80 languages, no one can predict what continued fighting and insecurity will bring.”

DiCarlo said more than seven million people need humanitarian assistance in northern Ethiopia alone, with an estimated 400,000 people in Tigray living in famine-like conditions. She said, while some emergency supplies have been moved, it has been four months since the last major shipment of medicines and health supplies into Tigray.

The UN official said the report of the joint OHCHR-Ethiopian Human Rights Commission investigation into the conflict in Tigray released last week shed light on the horrific suffering civilians have endured. The report concluded that there are reasonable grounds to believe that all parties to the conflict - including the Ethiopian National Defence Force, Eritrean Defence Force, Amhara Special Forces and allied militia on one side and Tigrayan forces on the other - committed violations of international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law. It also stated that war crimes and crimes against humanity may have been also committed.

DiCarlo said there must be an immediate cessation of hostilities, as called for by the UN Secretary-General, African Union Commission Chair, IGAD Executive Secretary, Kenyan President Ururu Kenyatta, and the UN Security Council.

She said, “Ethiopia, a founding member of the United Nations, needs our support. We urge Ethiopians to come together to build a shared, prosperous future before it is too late.”

The African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo, said the crisis situation in northern Ethiopia has continued to drastically deteriorate in recent weeks, leading to a serious escalation of the situation.

Obasanjo, who is currently in Ethiopia, said he has been engaging with all stakeholders, including the Prime Minister and President of Ethiopia, in an effort to de-escalation the situation.

He said, “As summary to our discussions, all these leaders here in Addis Ababa and in the north, agree individually, that the differences between them are political and require political solutions through dialogue. This therefore, constitutes a window of opportunity that we can collectively tap into to assist the people of Ethiopia to find a lasting solution to the ongoing crisis. It is, however, important to mention the window of opportunity we have is very little and that the time is short for any intervention in this regard.”

The High Representative said the time is now for collective action in finding lasting solutions to avoid further escalation of the situation, which may have direct effect on the strategic security of the Horn of Africa region as a whole.

He urged the Council to consider: strongly urging and encouraging the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front to engage in political dialogue without any preconditions; calling for an immediate and unconditional comprehensive ceasefire of cessation of hostilities by all parties, calling for immediate, unhindered humanitarian access; calling on the parties to ensure respect and compliance with international humanitarian and human rights laws and practice; calling for an immediate commencement of an all-inclusive national dialogue and reconciliation; and calling on international community to rally behind the AU-led process in order to ensure coherence and unity of purpose for peacemaking efforts in the Horn of Africa, and particularly in Ethiopia.

Ethiopian ambassador Taye Amde said, a year ago, the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Force was attacked by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

He said his government has since reversed the military threat posed by the TPLF, made all efforts to provide relief to the people of Tigray, signed a humanitarian assistance agreement with the UN, declared humanitarian ceasefires and withdrew forces. All of this had proven to be in vain and did not achieve peace, the Ethiopian ambassador said.

Amde stressed, “Diversity is not Ethiopia’s problem. Our challenge is not, as some reluctantly posit, a failure to manage diversity. Diversity is Ethiopia’s asset. Our problem is a criminal group that refused to accept equality and let go of ill-gained supremacy and privilege.”

The Ethiopian ambassador said his government’s plea to members of the international community to trefrain from providing the TPLF with moral and material support went unheeded. He said, “TPLF (Tigray People’s Liberation Front) is emboldened and numbed itself to an extent, it stopped counting the lives of Ethiopians from Tigray it sacrifices on its hopeless journey. It is emboldened to a level; it threatens to unseat a popularly elected Federal Government and destabilize a nation of 112 million people. We again reiterate our plea for the supporters of this group that have be providing it with communication equipment, satellite information, weapons and even fighters to desist from this. It is not only illegal, but also an immoral act.”

Amde said a regional solution is best placed to support Ethiopia out of its crisis, adding that the route to dialogue and a political solution will not be straightforward or easy. He said, “We remind everyone concerned that there are no two parties here. There is a government representing the will of the Ethiopian people and representing the Ethiopian state; and there is a group advancing its criminal cause through atrocities. Any attempt, including the media campaign we have been witnessing in the past few days, to launder TPLF and diminish the horror it committed against the Ethiopian people will only be counterproductive.”
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