On Friday, Ethiopia’s warring parties were called on to halt all hostilities and turn to negotiations to broker a ceasefire by the UN Security Council (UNSC), voicing “serious concern” over the conflict’s fallout.
Urging all parties to refrain “from inflammatory hate speech and incitement to violence and divisiveness,” the UNSC specifically warned of the conflict’s ramifications for Ethiopian and East African stability.
The UNSC’s further said in a statement that, in addition to a lasting ceasefire, negotiations should also address “the creation of conditions for the start of an inclusive Ethiopian national dialogue to resolve the crisis and create the foundation for peace and stability throughout the country.”
The UNSC also called for the respect of international humanitarian law, for safe and unhindered humanitarian access, the re-establishment of public services, and further urged the scaling up of humanitarian assistance. Members further reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of Ethiopia.
A meeting of the UNSC, previously scheduled to take place on Friday, was also rescheduled for Monday just minutes before it was to take place.
These developments come as the Tigray People’s Liberation Forces (TPLF) and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) make major battlefield advances against government forces, claiming more territory as they close in on the capital of Addis Ababa and strike alliances with other armed groups.
The TPLF and OLA reportedly joined with seven other groups to announce a united front against the Ethiopian central government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
On Thursday, Ethiopia’s 547-seat parliament met and endorsed with an almost unanimous vote to initiate a six-month nationwide state of emergency declared on Tuesday by the Council of Ministers.