The 15 members of the UN Security Council this week failed to agree on the adoption of a statement calling for a ceasefire in Tigray, Ethiopia, and expressing concern about alleged arrests based on ethnic identity, diplomatic sources said Saturday.
A diplomat told AFP that the draft text submitted by Ireland, a non-permanent member of the council, had been rejected by China and Russia and had been “abandoned”.
Several other diplomatic sources confirmed that “there is no agreement,” and some of them believed that the draft was rushed.
The Russian diplomatic mission acknowledged the existence of a dispute over the text, while it was not possible to obtain immediate comment from the Chinese mission.
In the draft text, the Security Council calls for “unimpeded humanitarian access”, “an end to hostilities” and the launch of a “comprehensive national dialogue” in Ethiopia.
The draft also expresses the council’s “deep” concern about the arrest of UN staff and demands their “immediate release.”
The draft also stresses council members’ concerns about “reports of large-scale arrests in Ethiopia, on the basis of ethnic identity, and without due process.”
The draft also denounces “hate speech”.
Ethiopia declared last week a state of emergency across the country for a period of six months, with growing fears of the advance of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front fighters and their allies towards the capital, Addis Ababa.
Human rights advocates assert that arbitrary arrests of Tigrayans – which were common during the war – have multiplied since then, and that the new procedures allow the authorities to detain anyone suspected of supporting “terrorist groups” without a judicial warrant.
Several countries have called on their nationals to leave Ethiopia, at a time when the conflict between the rebels and government forces in the north of the country is escalating.