'Quickly Restore The Rule Of Law' In Ethiopia's Tigray, Urges Guterres
©
UNHCR/Will Swanson Refugees from Ethiopia
sit in the shade to avoid the hot afternoon sun at the
Hamdayet Border Reception Centre in eastern
Sudan.

The UN
Secretary-General
said
on Monday
it was “essential to
quickly restore the rule of law” in Ethiopia’s northern
region of Tigray, where Government forces and those loyal to
the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have
been engaged in fighting for more than a
month.

A Government offensive began after
TPLF forces reportedly attacked a federal military base on 4
November. With communications and transportation links cut,
Government forces have reportedly taken control of the
regional capital Mekelle, although the TPLF claims that it
is now mounting an insurgency, according to news
reports.

Prime Minister described TPLF
leaders as a “criminal clique” on Monday, denying that
their local forces were capable of a protracted
insurgency

Respect rights, ‘inclusive
reconciliation’

In a statement released by his
Spokesperson, the UN chief António
Guterres
said it was essential for the rule of law to be
restored, “in full respect for human rights, (to) promote
social cohesion, an inclusive reconciliation, as well as to
re-establish the delivery of public services and guarantee
unfettered humanitarian access.”

Last Friday, UN aid
coordinators with the humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, said
they were “working at full speed” to secure full aid
access to Tigray, after a
deal
was struck to help tens of thousands of civilians
displaced by the weeks of fighting between federal and
regional forces.

More than 47,000 Ethiopian refugees
have fled across the border into Sudan, and around 96,000
Eritrean refugees being hosted in camps in Tigray, were
reported by the World Food Programme (WFP) to have essentially run
out of food.

In all around two million are in need of
assistance in and around Tigray, with a million displaced
due to the fighting, the UN estimates.

UN ‘totally
committed’ to providing support

Mr. Guterres said
the UN remained fully committed to supporting an African
Union (AU)-led initiative effort to seek a lasting and
peaceful resolution to the conflict between federal and
local forces over Tigray.

“We also remain fully
committed to mobilizing the full capacity of the United
Nations to provide humanitarian support to refugees,
displaced people and all populations in distress”, the
statement concluded.

“The Secretary-General has also
been conveying these messages in the numerous conversations
he has had with United Nations representatives on the ground
and regional leaders, as well as Prime Minister
of Ethiopia with whom he spoke
today.”

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