Brussels, Apr 3 (EFE) .- The high representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign and Defense Policy, Josep Borrell, warned this Saturday that the “alarming” situation in Ethiopia could destabilize the region of the Horn of Africa and announced a new mission to the African country headed by Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.
“The humanitarian situation in the Ethiopian region of Tigray remains very serious. This conflict also threatens to destabilize the entire Horn of Africa. I have asked the Finnish Foreign Minister, Pekka Haavisto, to travel to Ethiopia to reiterate our requests to the government and assess the situation, “Borrell explained on his blog.
For the EU, “it is a priority” to help stop human rights abuses in the Tigray region and restore peace in Ethiopia, added the head of European diplomacy.
According to Borrell, first, hostilities must cease, and second, access to humanitarian aid must be guaranteed to all people in need in all areas.
Third, Borrell added, “investigations into human rights abuses must be carried out” and, as a fourth objective, the withdrawal of Eritrean troops.
The EU high representative acknowledged on his blog that after “many weeks of denial, the Ethiopian government has announced some positive steps” but specified that “to be credible, they must materialize quickly.”
In this context, he explained that he has asked Haavisto to return to the region this weekend, visit Tigray, and report to the European Foreign Ministers on April 22 at a meeting in which “the next steps” will be discussed.
In particular, the Finn will speak to Ethiopian authorities about the crisis in Tigray and its regional implications, according to a statement from the European External Action Service.
Furthermore, it will call on all parties to end hostilities and respect international humanitarian and refugee law and to allow independent investigations into alleged human rights abuses.
He will also reiterate the need for Eritrean forces to withdraw from Tigray and will address the matter with the African Union.
For Borrell, the Tigray crisis “has not received adequate visibility on the world stage until now”, although he acknowledged that recently the US Secretary of State, Joe Blinken, denounced the “ethnic cleansing” in the region and senior UN officials they called for an end to indiscriminate and targeted attacks against civilians.
(c) EFE Agency