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NewsEU’s draft resolution proposes arms embargo on Ethiopia

EU’s draft resolution proposes arms embargo on Ethiopia

– It is rejected by Ethiopian government

– Parliament urges UN deploys peacekeeping mission in Ethiopia

 – Condemns IMFs, WBs structural adjustment plans

The European Union parliament’s resolution urged the UN Security Council (UNSC) to adopt an arms embargo halting the transfer and sale of arms and other military equipment’s to Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The Members of Parliament (MPs) harshly criticized the EU for failing to reach an agreement on the arms embargo motion. The parliament also asked the UN to deploy a peacekeeping mission in the conflict area in Ethiopia.

The parliament stated that it ‘Deeply regrets the fact that the UNSC has failed to address the situation in Ethiopia and the region in an effective manner. It urged the EU and its Member States to call on the UNSC to hold regular public meetings on Ethiopia and the region and to take meaningful and decisive action to ensure unhindered humanitarian access, allow the protection of civilians, end and condemn grave violations of international law and ensure accountability for atrocities.

Between October 4 and 6, 2022, the parliament deliberated on a number of motions on “the recent humanitarian and human rights situation in Tigray, Ethiopia, notably that of children,” after which lengthy resolutions were passed.

The resolution called for dozens of serious actions to be taken against Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to amend the human rights violations it listed as having been committed over the past two years.

It also called on the Norwegian Nobel Committee to rescind the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali (PhD) in 2019.

More resolutions are expected as the EU member states agreed to continue discussions over the situation in Tigray and push the UNSC to discuss the issue as a matter of urgency.

A call to sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court was also made to the Ethiopian Government. MPs stressed an independent justice system must be installed to investigate and punish parties involved in “war crimes and crimes against humanity” during the war in northern Ethiopia.

The parliament also condemned the structural adjustment plans carried out by the IMF and the World Bank and the “conditions” attached to the loans granted by those institutions to Ethiopia.

It noted that they require the delegation of increasing proportions of development policies to the private sector and the liberalization/privatization of several national sectors, particularly in the fields of telecommunications, banking and insurance, and logistics.

The resolution also requested the renewal of the mandate of the UN International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) and to ensure that it has the necessary time and adequate resources to fulfill the mandate, investigate allegations of international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and refugee law violations, and advise the parties on transitional justice, accountability, internal reconciliation, and healing.

The parliament echoed conclusions made by the Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia that there are reasonable grounds to believe that, in several instances, the violations of international human rights and humanitarian law committed by all parties amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

These violations include extrajudicial killings, rape and other forms of sexual violence, indiscriminate attacks against civilians, including children, persecution on ethnic grounds, and starvation of civilians as a method of warfare.

The Reporter reached out to officials at the Ethiopian government’s Communication Service and Ministry of Foreign Affairs but did not respond as of press time.

However, the Ethiopian embassy in Brussels issued a statement outright rejecting the resolutions passed by the EU parliament.

“We express deep regret about the latest resolution on Ethiopia by the EU parliament. The resolution has once again failed to recognize the misery of millions of people caused by the belligerence of the TPLF in Afar and Amhara, while only focusing on Tigray Region,” stated the Ethiopian embassy.

“The resolution is contrary to the latest constructive engagements with the EU parliament and Ethiopian government. We urge the parliament to study and revise this unfitting resolution that does not match with the stature that it commands,” the embassy added.

The EU’s aggressive moves came two weeks after MPs visited Ethiopia. Especially after the working visit, the EU Foreign Affairs, Women’s Affairs and Development Committee members were making good progress in reaching constructive engagement with the government of Ethiopia, which is now contradicted by the resolution.

The resolution also came at a time when the Ethiopian federal government and TPLF officials responded positively to the African Union’s explicit invitation to hold peace talks in South Africa, the first since the third round of war resumed on August 24, 2022.

Accountability for the crimes committed in the past two years must be ensured, side by side with the peace talks, according to the MPs.

Several MPs stated the situation in Tigray is “the biggest humanitarian crisis on the planet.” Of course, the parliamentarians also asked the EU to resume financial and budgetary support for Ethiopia and Tigray, which has been halted since the war first broke out in November 2020.

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