Delegate Name: Jane Swartz
At the heart of conflict in Ethiopia are limitations of regional government in Ethiopia, especially of Tigray, and of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The war has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives on each side, including civilians. After the TPLF lost power in a 2018 election, the region’s sovereignty was severely limited, losing its parliament, security, and, most significantly at this time of crisis, its right to secede from Ethiopia. Additionally, the Ethiopian government cut funding to the Tigray region in 2018. The United Nations Security Council must recognize the threats this has to not only the stability of Tigray, but the other eight ethnic regions of Ethiopia, as well as countries it borders.
In July of 2021, France ended a deal of military cooperation with the Ethiopian government for the foreseeable future due to the concerns with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s leadership (France suspends military cooperation…, 2021). France was also among the countries to urge citizens to exit Ethiopia as quickly as possible on November 23, 2021 following the Prime Minister’s journey to the battlefront.
France believes that the most important aspect of a resolution to this conflict, and any others that may arise, will be stability. While it may be appealing to rush in with a quick fix, we as the Security Council must carefully think of the possible “domino effect” of actions we may take. On that note, it is in our best interest to begin by addressing humanitarian aid. As of November 11th, 2021, we have gained the information that over seventy trucks and drivers were detained by Ethiopian nationals (Ethiopia detains some 70 drivers who…,2021). Due to this, it would be incredibly difficult and unwise to attempt any form of aid sent over land. Furthermore, France believes that the UNSC or another form of supranational body working as a negotiator for both sides is imperative for this conflict to resolve without more bloodshed.
Al Arabiya English. (2021, August 13). France suspends military cooperation with Ethiopia as Tigray Conflict intensifies. Al Arabiya English. Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2021/08/13/France-suspends-military-cooperation-with-Ethiopia-as-Tigray-conflict-intensifies.
Associated Press. (2021, November 11). Ethiopia detains some 70 drivers who deliver aid to Tigray, United Nations says. NBCNews.com. Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/ethiopia-detains-70-drivers-deliver-aid-tigray-united-nations-says-rcna5215.