Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD, spoke today of his concern at the ending of the five-month cease fire in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
The launching of a fresh offensive by Eritrean and Ethiopian government forces in Tigray awakens fresh fears of a return to the human rights abuses which haunted the conflict prior the cessations of violence earlier this year.
The Wicklow TD said:
“I want to express my deep concern at the fresh outbreak of violence in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
“Prior to the ending of the cease-fire, following the attack by Ethiopian government and Eritrean forces, Tigray had witnessed a swathe of human rights abuses, including murder, forced displacement, and sexual abuse.
“There have been several aerial attacks on the Tigray capital Mekelle, with ground fighting also taking place in Southern Tigray.
“The Ethiopian government and Tigray leadership must redouble its efforts to restore peace immediately, to create the space to find a solution to the two-year old conflict.
“For two years we have witnessed gross human rights abuses taking place during the conflict in Tigray.
“Millions of people have been displaced, alongside the thousands of innocent civilians who have perished.
“According to the UN Refugee Agency, some nine million people across the Tigray, Amhara, and Afar regions of Ethiopian have suffered from severe food shortages, lacking access to adequate food.
“The situation is compounded as a consequence of the drought which is impacting across the whole of the Horn of Africa.
“The international community must act immediately to ensure that the fresh outbreak of violence is brought to an end immediately.
“Ireland has a long association with the Tigray region, which was the at the centre of the Famine in the 1980s which inspired Live Aid.
“I want to call upon the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney to act immediately, to use the Irish government’s position on the UN Security Council and the EU to demand that the international community respond immediately and decisively.”