Searching for Peace in Tigray as Crisis Worsens and Tensions Rise

With humanitarian suffering escalating in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, the UN Security Council held a long-delayed open meeting on the crisis Friday. The session adjourned after statements by representatives of member states with no debate or consideration of a resolution. Speaking on behalf of the Africa Group, Kenyan Representative Martin Kimani called for "an African solution' to the conflict and called on Ethiopia to "embrace the tools of mediation" adopted by the African Union. Ethiopian Representative Taye Atske Selassie told the Council Ethiopia "is undergoing a significant transformation" and "it was not our preference to have an open meeting because it is an internal matter", an approach also endorsed by Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia.  "The decision to cease military operation is hoped to create a conducive environment for humanitarian operations in Tigray and pave the way for an inclusive national dialogue," Ambassador Taye said.

The UN acting humanitarian coordinator Ramesh Rajasingham warned of "an alarming rise" in hunger, saying that "more than 400,000 people are estimated to have crossed the threshold into famine and another 1.8 million people are on the brink of famine." Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Representative who has been pressuring for a public session for several months, told the Council: "We need access. We need aid. And we need to end the conflict. Instead of further escalation, we need all parties to negotiate a true ceasefire - and then to honor that ceasefire." She urged the Council act act quickly. ""It's the first opportunity for us to show that African lives matter as much as other lives around the world. But an open meeting is not enough. What we need to see is action on the ground," she said.

Yeshialem Gebreegziabher, 27, holds her daughter, Kalkidan Yeman, 6 months old, who is suffering from malnutrition at Aby Adi Health center in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia

Kenyan Representative Martin Kimani following UN Security Council meeting on Tigray, accompanied by other representatives from the #A3Plus1 Group - Inga Rhonda King (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), Tarek Ladeb (Tunisia) and Abdou Abarry (Niger).

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