“The conflict is causing untold suffering and must end” – Statement by the Minister for Africa following his visit to Ethiopia
Africa Minister Vicky Ford concluded a visit to Addis Ababa, as part of a trip to three countries in the region. The minister met with Prime Minister Abiy, Minister of State Redwan and Finance Minister Shide to discuss concerns over the ongoing conflict and pathways to peace, as well as economic development and regional cooperation.
The conflict in northern Ethiopia has been going on for 14 months and escalated significantly at the end of last year. The UK is supporting the African Union’s mediation efforts between the Ethiopian government and the Tigrayan forces, to bring about a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
The fighting has created a dire humanitarian situation, with more people facing near-famine conditions in the north of the country than in the rest of the world combined. In addition to the humanitarian crisis in the north, the south is facing one of the worst droughts in decades. UK announces new funding of £5m for drought in the south, £5m for health and education services for those affected by conflict and £4.5m for the consolidation of peace and human rights. This is on top of more than £76million in humanitarian aid provided by the UK to support those affected by conflict in Tigray, Amhara and Afar.
Africa Minister Vicky Ford said:
The UK stands with Ethiopia as it faces the worst drought in decades in the south and ongoing conflict in the north, but I have made it clear during this visit that the conflict is causing untold suffering and must stop.
The UK continues to call on all parties to stop fighting and stands ready to support a peace process, and I have urged my counterparts to engage in the African Union-led mediation efforts. We welcome the establishment of a National Dialogue Commission and the release of some political prisoners as positive steps.
The support package I announced during this visit will provide lifesaving food to 200,000 people facing one of the worst droughts in decades, support survivors of gender-based violence and build the capacity of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission of man.
The UK is ready and willing to play a central role in post-conflict recovery. In addition to our new aid package, the UK will work closely with our Ethiopian partners to deepen our economic cooperation and drive growth, prosperity and opportunity in our two countries.