UN chief calls for immediate ceasefire in Ethiopia

Army troops

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has called for a quick ceasefire and unrestricted relief access in Ethiopia’s Tigray area on Thursday, claiming that millions of people were in need of assistance and that women had been subjected to “unspeakable cruelty.”

“It is past time for all sides to acknowledge that there is no military option, and it is crucial to maintain Ethiopia’s unity and stability, which is critical to the region’s stability.”

Ethiopian federal government troops and forces from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have been battling since November in a war that has killed thousands of people, led to a major refugee crisis and ethnic killings, rape as a weapon of war and a humanitarian crisis.

“Humanitarian conditions are hellish. Millions of people are in need. Infrastructure has been destroyed. We have heard first-hand accounts of women who have been subjected to unspeakable violence,” Guterres said.

“The spread of the conflict has ensnared even more people in its horror,” he said.

In recent weeks, the conflict has spread into two neighbouring regions, Afar and Amhara, displacing about 250,000 more people and raising international concerns about a wider destabilisation of Africa’s second most populous nation.

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