On Thursday 11 February, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and the Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen met in a plenary session, debating on “The humanitarian situation in Ethiopia”. The Commissioner opened the debate underlying that the European Union (EU) is deeply concerned about the ongoing conflict in the Tigray region. The EU is calling for the end of hostilities, full humanitarian access to be exercised independently from the Ethiopian administration, and investigations over alleged human rights violations. MEPs focused largely on the severe human rights abuses, presence of Eritrean soldiers on the ground in Tigray and the EU approach to the conflict.
In this week’s news highlights: UN alerts of critical situation for refugees and IDPs in Tigray and Sudan; Regional conflict in the Horn develops; TPLF spokesperson calls for talks; EU and others pledge humanitarian support to refugees in Sudan; MP in New Zealand tells story of his escape from Eritrea; UNHCR restarts evacuation of refugees from Libya to Rwanda; EU Parliament plenary adopts resolution on Ethiopia; Belgian officer goes on trial after the death of Kurdish child; Council of Europe asks for a reform of immigration detention system in Greece; ECJ recognises refugee status of Syrian conscientious objectors in Germany; HRW calls for modification of Italian immigration law; And boats sinking off Greece and Spain cause at least 9 deaths.
On Wednesday 4 November, tensions escalated in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Disputes between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in Tigray and the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed led to fighting in the Tigray region and at its borders. As the situation evolves, EEPA is sending extra news highlights on the conflict. Experts emphasise that the international community must speak with one voice to urge de-escalation of the conflict, and urge all parties involved in the conflict to enter into peaceful dialogue.