Today in Brussels, I met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Mr Demeke Mekonnen. Ethiopia is undergoing challenging times. I expressed my great concern regarding increasing ethnic-targeted violence, numerous casualties and violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law. I also conveyed my analysis that this conflict is already seriously destabilising the region.
I also discussed the deterioration of the humanitarian situation, in Ethiopia and in the region, notably in Sudan. International Humanitarian Law needs to be upheld. On behalf of the EU, I have called for safe and free movement and protection of civilians, vulnerable groups and IDPs.
The message of the EU is clear: we call on all parties to put in place the conditions that will facilitate unimpeded access to people in need, the cessation of hostilities, the non-interference of any external party, and the freedom of the media. Engagement with the High-Level Envoys appointed by the Chair of the African Union should open the door for a dialogue that is the only way forward to avoid further destabilisation.