Delegate Name: William Rechner
When first taking office, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promised peace and encouraged unity. This conflicted with his party’s views, who supported corruption and violence, so he formed his own party, the Prosperity Party. Thus, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), his former party, joined the opposition. When Abiy Ahmed delayed elections in 2020 for fear of covid, the TPLF stated that this was an excuse to maintain power and instead held their own elections in Tigray while refusing to acknowledge the Ethiopian government. Abiy responded by restricting federal funding to the Tigray region, which prompted the TPLF to attack a military base. Ethiopia has called upon neighboring Eritrea to assist them in invading Tigray from the north while they pushed from the south. Because of this war, thousands of Tigrayan civilians have died and thousands more have fled the region. With almost 400,000 people living in famine-like conditions, this war is causing many humanitarian issues, especially in the region of Tigray.
China is closely monitoring the situation in Tigray and encourages resolving the humanitarian problems in Ethiopia. China has provided resources to Ethiopia that benefit the Tigray population, including food and Covid-19 vaccines. China supports attempts from the international community to aid in humanitarian affairs, but acknowledges that Ethiopia retains the right to resolve their own internal conflicts. Any efforts to assist Ethiopia must entirely respect the sovereignty of the nation.
To understand the extent of human rights abuses taking place in the Tigray region, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission held a joint investigation. This investigation has shown numerous human rights atrocities and makes multiple recommendations for the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea and the international community. In addition, there has been a calling for all involved parties to ceasefire and the ensurement of a commitment for universal humanitarian access. The United Nations and the African Union are working together to facilitate dialogue and expedite resolving this issue. China supports the encouragement of increasing humanitarian access and stands by the sovereign rights of Ethiopia and their ability to resolve internal conflict.
Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-23/china-opposes-u-s-threat-to-impose-sanctions-on-ethiopia.
“Chinese Envoy Urges International Community to Fully Respect Sovereignty, Ownership of Ethiopia on Tigray Issue.” Xinhua, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-07/03/c_1310040459.htm.
“Four Things You Need to Know about the Tigray Crisis in Ethiopia – BBC Africa.” YouTube, 5 Nov. 2020, https://youtu.be/-MuUnoRWu0I.
“Humanitarian Catastrophe Unfolding before Our Eyes, Secretary-General Tells Security Council, Warning Ethiopia’s Youth Will Be Ultimate Casualties | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases.” United Nations, United Nations, https://www.un.org/press/en/2021/sgsm20866.doc.htm.
Lederer, Edith M. “Diplomats: Un Fails to Approve Call to End Tigray Violence.” AP NEWS, Associated Press, 6 Mar. 2021, https://apnews.com/article/russia-violence-india-humanitarian-assistance-ethiopia-f93a9a6bc7c0845a37cf7e3e3757e1e7.
Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at Security Council Briefing on Tigray, https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/ce/ceun/eng/chinaandun/t1889446.htm.
“Tigray Conflict: Report Calls for Accountability for Violations and Abuses by All Parties.” OHCHR, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=27756&LangID=E.