A German Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (1 July) on the situation in Tigray:
The situation in Tigray continues to pose serious grounds for concern. Since the outbreak of the conflict last November, the German Government has urged the Ethiopian Government to halt the military conflict immediately and to allow comprehensive humanitarian access. Against this backdrop, we welcome the news that the Ethiopian Government has declared a ceasefire for the Tigray region. A cessation of the fighting is long overdue, in order to provide food to people at acute risk of famine. All further parties to the conflict, including the TPLF (Tigray People’s Liberation Front) are called upon to join the ceasefire.
In this context, we also reiterate our demand that the Eritrean armed forces withdraw immediately from Tigray. All parties to the conflict should now take on their responsibilities and allow full humanitarian access so that the urgently needed supplies can be delivered to the region. Human rights abuses must be investigated and those responsible for them brought to justice.
The ceasefire provides an opportunity to launch a process to resolve the conflict peacefully. Germany is liaising closely with the United States and with its partners in the EU. In the long term, there will only be peace in Ethiopia if the country succeeds in finding a universally supported political solution to its domestic tensions.
On 28 June, a week after the first voting took place in the parliamentary and regional elections, the Ethiopian Government declared a humanitarian ceasefire for the Tigray region. Since then, the Ethiopian armed forces and the interim government of Tigray have left the provincial capital Mekelle and the Eritrean army has withdrawn from several towns in northern Tigray. The TPLF and the forces that support it have now taken control in the region and are continuing to reject a ceasefire.
According to United Nations estimates, 5.2 million people in Tigray, that is, over 90% of the total population, depend on humanitarian aid. A large number of eyewitnesses and international organisations have reported severe human rights abuses. Germany had already allocated over 40 million Euro for humanitarian aid in Ethiopia in 2021. In order to help people in Tigray in this acute crisis, Germany has increased its humanitarian aid by a further 15 million Euro. This funding will be used by the United Nations, local aid organisations and the World Food Programme.
The conflict in northern Ethiopia has also caused significant refugee flows to the Sudan.