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World Ethiopia: calls to protect civilians in Tigray at the approach of the battle of Mekele

05:05  25 november  2020
05:05  25 november  2020 Source:   france24.com

Crisis has engulfed Ethiopia. Here’s what it means

  Crisis has engulfed Ethiopia. Here’s what it means A conflict in the Tigray region is threatening to destabilise East Africa. This is why.Fighting has been going on for almost two weeks, destabilising the populous country in East Africa, with reports of hundreds dead.

GONDAR - International pressure mounted Tuesday on the warring parties in northern Ethiopia to cease fighting and protect civilians in Tigray , whose The prospect of a devastating bombardment of Mekele , a city of half a million people and a refuge for many more fleeing the conflict, has alarmed

International pressure mounted Tuesday on the warring parties in northern Ethiopia to cease fighting and protect civilians in Tigray , whose leaders Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has given a deadline to surrender.

Une Éthiopienne fuit les combats au Tigré, le 22 novembre 2020. © Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah, Reuters An Ethiopian flees the fighting in Tigray, November 22, 2020.

While the Ethiopian federal power says it is able to launch the battle of Mekele to drive out the dissident leaders of Tigray, Amnesty International and the UN call for the protection of civilians. The first meeting of the Security Council on the situation in the region on Tuesday did not result in a joint statement.

Calls for mediation and protection of civilian populations of Tigray became more pressing on Tuesday, November 24, on the eve of the expiration of the ultimatum given by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to the leaders of the region dissident to surrender.

Heavy shelling rocks Tigray capital as Ethiopia steps up offensive

  Heavy shelling rocks Tigray capital as Ethiopia steps up offensive Heavy shelling rocked the capital of Ethiopia's Tigray region Saturday as the city of half a million braced for an all-out offensive by government forces against its dissident leaders. Abiy announced Thursday he had ordered a "final" offensive on TPLF leaders, and Ethiopia's military says it has encircled the city. A communications blackout in Tigray has made it difficult to verify claims from both sides about how the fighting is going.

UN makes urgent plea to protect civilians in Ethiopia 's Tigray . UN continues to receive reports of 72-hour deadline given to TPLF leaders and fighters to surrender approaching as regional capital ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia 's military on Sunday threatened an all-out assault on Mekele , capital of the

Calls to protect civilians in Ethiopia as decisive battle looms. Gondar ( Ethiopia ) (AFP). The federal army says its forces are within 60 kilometres of Mekele , the Tigrayan capital.. Forces battling Ethiopia 's federal government have vowed to continue the fight in the north of the country, despite a

The "military operation" launched on November 4 by the Ethiopian federal power against the Tigray authorities, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), has entered a decisive phase, according to Addis Ababa. The federal power assures to be able to launch the battle of Mekele, the capital of the region, in order to dislodge the leaders of the TPLF and to replace them by a new administration.

The prospect of an assault on Mekele, which has 500,000 inhabitants, in addition to an unknown number of displaced people who have taken refuge there since the start of the conflict, worries the international community and the organizations of defense of human rights.

"War crime"

"As Ethiopian federal troops begin preparations to surround Mekele, Amnesty International reminds all parties that deliberate attacking of civilians ... is prohibited under international humanitarian law and constitutes a crime of war ", underlined Deprose Muchena, head of East and Southern Africa for the organization.

Ethiopia’s war is threatening domestic and regional stability

  Ethiopia’s war is threatening domestic and regional stability The international community has to take urgent action to bring the warring sides to the negotiation table.Debretsion Gebremichael, who leads the Tigray regional state and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), however, said in a phone interview with the Associated Press a day later that fighting still continues and his forces have made some gains. The Tigrayan leader said the fight is about “self-determination” of the Tigrayan community – which constitutes 7.3 percent of the 108 million Ethiopian population – and it “will continue until the invaders are out”.

International pressure mounted Tuesday on the warring parties in northern Ethiopia to cease fighting and protect civilians in Tigray , whose leaders “As Ethiopian federal troops begin preparations to encircle Mekele , Amnesty International reminds all parties that deliberately attacking civilians and

Ethiopia 's military have warned civilians in the capital of the wartorn Tigray region to “free Ethiopia 's Tigray crisis: Debretsion Gebremichael, the man at the heart of the conflict The Ethiopian army warned Sunday of an imminent attack on Mekele , capital of rebellious Tigray state

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, was alarmed on Tuesday by "the highly aggressive rhetoric" of both camps, fearing that it "leads to new violations of international humanitarian law" .

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has called on parties to allow civilians seeking humanitarian assistance to cross international and national borders.

Meeting of the Security Council

At the UN, Europeans and Africans have displayed their divisions. The first meeting of the Security Council on the conflict held on Tuesday was initially canceled at the request of African countries, to give more time to AU mediation.

But the European members of the Council - Belgium, Germany, France, Estonia, United Kingdom - supported by the United States, announced that the meeting would be held well: "At some point, we must put (the Ethiopian file) on the agenda, even if Africans don't like it, "said a European diplomat on condition of anonymity.

The meeting did take place, without however giving rise to a joint declaration. "The Europeans have expressed their concerns, condemned ethnic violence and called for the protection of civilians," said a European diplomat.

Asked about the hesitations that seem to dominate the Security Council over the Tigray conflict, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric stressed that the African Union was at the forefront of international efforts and that the Secretary General UN Antonio Guterres supported this approach.

The latter underlined his concern about a possible military offensive in the regional capital of Mekele. The secretary general "urges the leaders of Ethiopia to do everything possible to protect civilians, respect human rights and ensure humanitarian access" to the populations, a statement said.

With AFP

African leaders mount effort to mediate Ethiopia conflict .
African leaders attempted Monday to kickstart some kind of mediation in Ethiopia's escalating internal conflict, two days after rocket strikes on Eritrea's capital highlighted risks that fighting could spread. - Fears of wider conflict - In recent days the TPLF has extended the conflict beyond Tigray, launching rockets on airports in Ethiopia's Amhara region, which borders Tigray to the south, and in the capital of Eritrea, Ethiopia's neighbourUgandan President Yoweri Museveni held talks with Ethiopia's deputy prime minister Demeke Mekonnen, while former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo headed to Addis Ababa to make his bid for dialogue.

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