A new meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Tigray in Ethiopia, where fighting continues, will be held Thursday at the request of the United States, AFP learned Wednesday from diplomatic sources.
This session will be held behind closed doors, like the last meeting, which was held on March 4. At the time, China and Russia opposed the adoption of a unanimous declaration calling for an “end to violence” in Tigray. Beijing and Moscow consider the armed conflict in Tigray since the beginning of November an “internal affair.”
On Thursday, the 15 members of the council are expected to hear a briefing on the situation by U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, while the obstacles to the delivery of aid to the populations have not ceased, according to the U.N.
In early March, Lowcock demanded that Eritrea withdraw its troops from Tigray in the first recognition by a U.N. official in New York of Eritrea’s involvement in the fighting.
The Eritrean army has been accused by the U.N. services in Geneva of atrocities in Tigray that are likely to constitute “war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Asmara dismissed the charges.
At the beginning of November, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced the dispatch of the federal army to Tigray to arrest and disarm the leaders of the TPLF (Front for the Liberation of the People of Tigray), whose forces are accused by Addis Ababa of having carried out attacks against military camps of the federal forces.
At the time, Abiy assured the U.N. Secretary-General that the operation would be completed in a few weeks. In early April, however, he indicated that the Ethiopian army continued to fight in Tigray, where the rebels had adopted, according to him, “guerrilla” tactics.
It is not known how many Eritrean soldiers are still in the region and whether some have indeed left in recent weeks, as Abiy claims.