Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UN Security Council briefing on peace and security in Africa (the situation in Tigray)
First of all, we congratulate France on assuming the duties of President of the Security Council for the month of July, and thank Estonia for its able leadership in the Council in June. We listened carefully to the statements on the situation in Tigray delivered by USG for Political Affairs R.DiCarlo and Acting USG for Humanitarian Affairs R.Rajasingham. We welcome the personal participation in this meeting of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, we also welcome the participation of Permanent Representative of Ethiopia Ambassador Taye Selassie.
At the outset let me express regret regarding the format of this meeting and warn our colleagues against using it for the purpose of further destabilization of the already complicated situation in Tigray and weakening of political positions of federal authorities there. By all means, the issues under consideration today are a domestic affair of Ethiopia. Let us not forget about it.
We closely follow the developments of the complex military and political situation. We believe that the unilateral decision to immediately cease fire in Tigray that the Federal Government of Ethiopia took on 28 June was a step in the right direction.
Hopefully, all opposing sides will demonstrate the political will, which would help stop the bloodshed, improve humanitarian situation, ensure step-by-step socio-economic stabilization. It would also allow to do the sowing and get IDPs back to places of their permanent residence.
We call on all partners of Addis-Ababa to support the steps of the Ethiopian Government in order to bring peace back in the region and return people to a normal life. We proceed from the assumption that the leading role in settlement of the Ethiopian conflict is to be played by Ethiopians themselves – under assistance of the African community in the first place.
New regional developments should not distract the attention from addressing serious socio-economic problems that remain in Tigray. In recent months, the Government of Ethiopia has contributed a lot to restoring the ruined infrastructure and responding to humanitarian needs of the region. According to information available, the total spending on these aspects exceeds 2.5 billion USD. We call on UN OCHA and humanitarian agencies that are present in the region to further maintain these efforts as per UNGA resolution 46/182 and given strict observance of the guiding principles of humanitarian assistance. We expect the humanitarian community to develop an objective vision of the humanitarian situation in Tigray and define the real needs of the regional population.
We are aware that a group of Western states put forward a draft resolution on human rights situation in Tigray at the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. In our view, the draft is too much inclined to blame the leadership of Ethiopia. While sharing the concern over the human rights issues caused by the conflict in Tigray, we believe that such a document should aim not at accusing and punishing, but rather at preventing and helping to overcome human rights violations, no matter what side may commit them.
In conclusion, let me say that Russia is ready to continue promoting normalization in Tigray. We are convinced that politicizing of this issue is unacceptable. The situation in Tigray must remain an internal affair of Ethiopia. Interference of the Security Council in resolving this issue would be counterproductive.