SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING ON PEACE AND SECURITY IN AFRICA

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SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING ON PEACE AND SECURITY IN AFRICA:
THE SITUATION IN TIGRAY
THURSDAY 26TH AUGUST 2021 AT 3:00 AM
STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR MARTIN KIMANI, PERMANENT
REPRESENTATIVE OF KENYA ON BEHALF OF THE A-3+1 (KENYA,
NIGER, ST. VINCENT, AND THE GRENADINES AND TUNISIA)
The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kenya to the
United Nations, New York
Security Council – 2021-2022
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Mr President,
1. I have the honor to make this statement on behalf of the A3+1, namely
Kenya, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tunisia.
2. I thank the Secretary General for his briefing on the latest developments in
Ethiopia. We commend his engagement with Ethiopian leadership, the
African Union, and regional leaders. We believe that his good offices can
play an important role in facilitating a resolution of the current situation.
3. We have heard the important information, insights and concerns expressed
by our fellow members of the Security Council. We indeed share similar
points of view with many of them.
4. The violence presently afflicting the people and country of Ethiopia is the
product of conflicting views of the country’s future. It has erupted and
worsened because the country s conflict prevention and resolution tools
have, until now, been inadequate to the task.
5. The resolution to this crisis requires that we undertake a mediation of the
deep divides as part of an Ethiopian-owned process supported by the
available Peace and Security Architecture and practices especially those of
the African Union.
6. As the A3+1, we observe that on every side of the conflict there is a
growing perception of ethnic identity being the basis of conflict. The
opposed sides give short shrift to each other’s grievances, and regard
opposition to their own view as illegitimate.
7. The opposed constituencies, reflecting the present political character of
Ethiopia, are organized along ethnic lines. This makes them uniquely
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dangerous because they easily conflate political opposition to a struggle
between ethnicities.
8. We have witnessed with profound concern the resulting terrible harms that
have befallen innocent civilians. And if the present course is not changed,
we fear that it may get far worse.
9. We have condemned, and continue to condemn, the violence against
civilians. The killings of boys and men not in uniform. The destruction of
civilian objects. The confrontations that have led to the blocking of
humanitarian aid being delivered to desperate families. In particular we
register our strongest protest against the horrific human rights violations
and acts of sexual violence perpetrated against girls and women.
10. Our values as a continent, as captured with such gravity in the African
Union’s Constitutive Act, demand ‘respect for the sanctity of human life and
the condemnation and rejection of impunity’.
11. To put an end to this violence, our values must inspire and drive practical
action.
Mr President,
12. In our last statement on the 2nd of July, we welcomed the democratic
aspirations of the Ethiopian people as expressed in the last elections. We
return to this important moment for Ethiopia to argue that democracy,
above all, is a mechanism for the resolution of serious political differences.
13. The democratic mandate awarded by the millions of voters must include
every Ethiopian citizen. Even, and perhaps especially, in Tigray, and other
parts of the country where the vote was not held due to insecurity.
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14. The democratic mandate will only fulfill its potential and fundamental
requirement by helping resolve the greatest differences in Ethiopia.
15. Excellencies, fellow members of the Security Council, it is not easy to move
from violent confrontation to the negotiating table. This was why on 2nd
July we recommended use of the mechanisms available in Africa’s Peace
and Security Architecture underpinned by our Constitutive Act.
16. Foremost among these mechanisms, and that is available to Ethiopia
immediately, is the ‘right of Member States to request intervention from
the Union in order to restore peace and security.’
17. We look forward to the appointment of African mediators bound by these
commitments, and for the most concerned African Heads of State and
Government to stand by the mediation process.
18. The process must promote and protect human and peoples rights.
19. It must be clear in assuring the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and
independence of Ethiopia.
20. It should be genuinely inclusive to promote unity, solidarity, cohesion, and
cooperation among the peoples of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian State.
21. To allow space for it, we therefore urge the Government of Ethiopia to
remove all legal, administrative and security barriers to a political dialogue.
No matter what has come to pass, the Government needs to acknowledge
the existence of legitimate grievances, and to understand that they must
be resolved peacefully.
22. We must also pronounce our concern and caution about the rallying of the
civilian population to the conflict. Though it may be intended to marshal
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the patriotic spirit of the people, it can lead to an uncontrollable spiral of
violence and bloodshed. There are those who will take it to be an invitation
to acts of collective punishment against civilians.
23. This is the time for leadership to urge calm, to give confidence that the
country has the ability to overcome even this greatest of challenges with its
growing democratic instincts.
24. To the armed actors in Tigray, the TPLF or the TDF, we urge the
withdrawal from neighboring regions, and a halt to the rallying of other
armed actors. The further they advance outside Tigray, the greater the
danger to the people on whose behalf they claim to be acting.
25. Escalating political tensions in other parts of the country will not solve the
crisis, it will only widen the divide.
26. The TPLF must leave no doubts lingering that they will ever play any part
in compromising the political independence and territorial integrity of
Ethiopia which all members of the African Union are obliged to defend.
27. In addition, we recommend the spirit of the following steps to all Ethiopian
leaders, understanding that they are not easy to implement them.
1. Make immediate announcements, to all citizens, and to all militia and
armed units, that the targeting of civilians, and particularly women is
unacceptable and must stop immediately.
2. Deconflict military movements in Tigray, Afar and Amhara to enable
unfettered access to humanitarian aid before famine returns to any part
of Ethiopia. It is important that lines of communication between military
leaders be opened for this purpose.
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3. Announce a willingness to stop hostilities and to engage in ceasefire.
4. For the parliament just voted into office. Peace cannot be made with a
political movement that has been labeled as a terrorist group.
Parliament should prepare to lift this designation to allow for direct
contact and negotiation with armed actors opposing the government.
5. For the government, tangibly demonstrate an embrace of the people of
Tigray by resuming the provision of basic services to them.
6. Accept the good offices of the African Union, the region, and the UN
Secretary General as bridges to mediation and peacebuilding.
28. To this Security Council and the International Community, we make the
following recommendations.
1. We call for the government of Eritrea to withdraw its forces from
Ethiopia and embrace the role of peacebuilding.
2. We urge wealthy countries and organizations to provide adequate
resources to the humanitarian campaigns in Ethiopia.
3. We call for the UN Development Programme, the World Bank, the IMF,
and all of Ethiopia s creditors to deliver an economic recovery package
to implement the moment political mediation is underway.
4. We urge caution in the use of any unilateral coercive sanction measures
that risk Ethiopia’s economic collapse. Their use will only worsen the
humanitarian crisis.
5. To the African Union, we call for a reenergizing of the peace and
security architecture. We have seen that its powerful capabilities
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contribute to resolving many conflict situations in the continent, and we
believe they can be used in Ethiopia.
Mr President
29. Allow us to conclude with a final caution. War is seductive. There are those
who today in Ethiopia call for it be given a chance. Such an attitude taps
into a deep human desire for the clarity that enmity appears to offer. It
promises simplicity instead of painful compromise, the annoying need to
listen to the other, and the frustration that comes from trying to appreciate
complexity.
30. The Ethiopia of old inspired and rallied Africans. It had challenges, it had
known war and subjugation among and between its peoples. But its
successful resistance to colonialism, racism and fascism rallied our spirits.
31. As Africans, we are conscious that this is our historical moment to recover
our march to prosperity, peace and independence from the actors who
prefer us weak and divided. Ethiopia must not tap into its glorious history
to solely grasp the grievances that lead to anger and hatred. Instead,
Ethiopians must find in their past the prominent lessons of compromise,
unity and peace.
32. We appeal to the leaders and people of Ethiopia to understand that they
cannot break each other s spirits and succeed in building a united and
prosperous country.
Thank you

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