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France – Official statement on the situation in Ethiopia

Situation in Tigray

(29 January 2021)

France is extremely concerned by the gravity of the humanitarian and food crisis in Tigray and reiterates its call to the Ethiopian government to facilitate access to the region – including the Hitsats and Shimelba refugee camps – by the UN and humanitarian organizations.

Repeated and consistent allegations of serious human rights violations in the Tigray region cannot be ignored. France urges the Ethiopian authorities to facilitate independent investigations and to take the legal actions they had announced.

France applauds the strong commitment on the part of the United Nations as reflected by current missions in Ethiopia led by David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, and Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. It hopes these missions will help accelerate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Tigray and the many displaced persons and refugees there. It welcomes EU efforts in Ethiopia and the mission led by Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto.

France is also concerned by tensions on the border between Ethiopia and Sudan and calls on the two neighboring countries to avoid any military escalation and resolve this dispute through dialogue.

Attack On Civilians In The Benishangul-Gumuz Region

(23 December 2020)

France condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack in the Benishangul-Gumuz region in western Ethiopia that took the lives of more than a hundred civilians, according to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.

The perpetrators of these crimes must be prosecuted and brought to justice.

France expresses its solidarity and offers its sincere condolences to the victims’ families. It calls for a return to peaceful coexistence and the rule of law, the only way to break the cycle of violence in Ethiopia.

Meeting between Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian and Mr Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia

(26 November 2020)

Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, had a meeting today with Mr Demeke Mekonnen, Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Minister took the opportunity presented by the meeting to express our deep concern about the escalation of violence in the Tigray region and the worsening humanitarian situation in Ethiopia and Sudan.

The Minister reiterated our condemnation of the ethnically-motivated violence and our call for measures to be put in place as swiftly as possible to protect civilians.

He supported the United Nations’ calls for humanitarian access to be allowed to the areas affected by the conflict, and expressed France’s support for the African Union chair’s initiative to find a political solution to the crisis.

Situation in the Tigray region

(23 November 2020)

France is concerned by the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia, the Tigray region and Sudan.

It condemns the ethnic violence and calls for the swift institution of measures to protect civilian populations.

France supports the UN’s requests for humanitarian access.

France backs the approach taken by the UN Secretary-General and the initiatives taken by South Africa as Chair of the African Union to resolve the conflict.

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