By Nathan Morley
The parliament decision clears the way for the removal of the northern Tigray leadership, which Ethiopia’s federal government considers to be illegal.
Earlier this week, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia ordered the military to respond to an attack on an army camp in the regional capital of Mekele by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, known as the TPLF.
At the same time, the Ethiopian government declared a state of emergency in the Tigray district. Abiy Ahmed cited months of ‘provocation and incitement’ and insisted a red line had been crossed.
On Saturday, the Catholic Bishops of Ethiopia appealed for peaceful dialogue, urging parties to resolve their differences amicably, in a spirit of respect and understanding.
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said it is becoming increasing alarmed at the escalation of violence in the country.
“Rising hostilities in the Tigray region threaten the immediate safety of hundreds of thousands of people,’ the NRC said in a statement. ‘Any increase in violence would foreshadow further regional destabilization and humanitarian disaster. We call upon all parties to resolve tensions through dialogue and to take all appropriate measures to end military action’.
The most recent figures from NRC suggest there are currently 1.80 million people internally displaced across Ethiopia and a further 790,000 refugees seeking protection from other conflicts in the East Africa region.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for immediate measures to de-escalate tensions.
He also renewed the commitment of the UN to support the government of Ethiopia in its reform efforts aimed at building a peaceful and secure future for all its peoples.