Uhuru to the Ethiopians: stop fighting among yourselves
NAIROBI, Kenya – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta called on Ethiopians to embrace peace and dialogue just after it emerged that the Tigray Defense Forces [TDF] the militia was approaching Addis Ababa, along with the Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] hardly contain them.
The two factions have been fighting for a year now, with Tigrayan fighters ramping up their capabilities from July by successfully capturing several towns in neighboring Afar and Amhara regions in Ethiopia. The combatants accuse the federal army of having committed genocide in Tigray.
In a bold statement, Uhuru, who is the president of the United Nations Security Council [UNSC], called on Ethiopian leaders to stop inciting citizens against each other. Addis Ababa and TDF charged their strongholds.
“The crisis has now turned into a nationwide social convulsion of historic proportions for Ethiopia. The origins of the crisis, bitter and unacceptable as they may seem, can no longer be used to justify the suffering, murder and protracted open warfare that is now engulfing the nation, ”Mr. Kenyatta said.
Already, millions of people in the northern Tigray region have been forced to flee the country to neighboring Sudan even as aid workers struggle for aid in those areas.
“So it concerns me deeply that after a year the crisis has not abated but has actually worsened. Fighting has continued, deaths have piled up, displacement persists, and suffering and humanitarian urgency have taken root in the country.
The statement came shortly after Kenya issued restrictions on movement between Ethiopia and Kenya, arguing that the situation in Addis Ababa remains volatile. The TDF has since threatened to crush the capital Addis Ababa.
Uhuru noted that he tried to intervene in his capacity as a great friend of Ethiopia, as president of the East African Community, as chair of the Bureau of the Organization of States Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean. [OACPS], and as the representative of Africa on the United Nations Security Council [UNSC]. All of this, however, has failed as the fighting continues.
Kenyatta added: “I have given my office the full weight of insisting that despite the circumstances surrounding the crisis, the fighting must stop!
The government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had asked residents to prepare to protect their neighborhoods following reports that TDF had captured two towns and was advancing towards the capital Addis Ababa.
President Kenyatta becomes the latest leader to voice concerns about the deteriorating security situation in the country of the Horn.
On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden said he was revoking Ethiopia’s main trade preferences, stepping up pressure on its historic rights issues in his military campaign in troubled Tigray. The U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia has also urged its citizens to consider leaving the country.
Thousands of people have been displaced, especially in northern Ethiopia, as the crisis escalated into a full-fledged war. The TDF has pledged never to discuss with the authorities in Addis Ababa, accusing them of having committed genocide in Tigray.
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