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News Alert: Tigray humanitarian crisis back at the UNSC for discussion under Any other Business

UNSC in session. Picture: UNSC/Archive

Addis Standard staffs

Addis Abeba, April 14/2021 – In the wake of the dire humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the ongoing armed conflict in Tigray regional state, the United States has requested a meeting at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) under Any other Business (AoB), which is scheduled to take place on Thursday April 15, two diplomatic sources with knowledge on the matter told Addis Standard. The UNSC is scheduled to discuss the crisis in Yemen to be followed by a discussion on the humanitarian crisis in Tigray region.

Mark Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, is also expected to brief members of the UNSC with the latest developments on the ground, the same sources said on conditions of anonymity .

UNOCHA’s latest report said “access situation in Tigray is highly fluid and constantly changing.” It added that while there had been “improvement in access over the past weeks, this week witnessed widespread insecurity constraining humanitarian partners’ ability to move. Active hostilities have been reported in North-Western, Central, Eastern, South-Eastern and Southern Zones.”

The the UNSC discussion comes a day after its members held an open debate on “Women, peace and security: sexual violence in conflict” where members discussed “sexual violence in conflict, especially when used as a brutal tactic of war, has left multiple enduring and devastating consequences for survivors and their families.”

The UNSC “needs to pay attention to deeply disturbing reports of mass sexual violence occurring in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.”

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Speaking at the open debate, US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the UNSC “needs to pay attention to deeply disturbing reports of mass sexual violence occurring in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.”

“We as a Council must address reports of women being forced by military elements to have sex for basic commodities, and reports of sexual violence against women and girls in refugee camps, among other horrific information. The international community must work to ensure that all those involved respect their obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Ambassador Greenfield also called for “independent, credible investigations” to be conducted “to hold perpetrators of these, and other human rights abuses and violations committed in Tigray, accountable.”

On March 05, after another meeting under AoB, the UNSC failed to reach at a consensus and dropped issuing a resolution calling for cessation of hostilities and respect for international humanitarian laws in Tigray after China, Russia and India took out the Council’s call for “immediate cessation of hostilities,” from the draft resolution , even after it was modified with “an end to violence in Tigray.” AS



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