British government on Eritrea’s role in Tigray: “particularly concerning…numerous report of atrocities…no evidence of leaving”

2021-04-26 22:16:46 Written by  Eritrea Hub Published in English Articles Read 127 times

APRIL 26, 2021  ETHIOPIANEWSTIGRAY

Replies by the British Government to questions tabled by Lord David Alton

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL14676):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to monitor the withdrawal of Eritrean forces from the Trigray region following the announcement by the prime minister of Ethiopia in March. (HL14676)

Tabled on: 12 April 2021

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

Eritrea’s role in the conflict is particularly concerning; there are numerous reports of atrocities involving Eritrean forces, and the presence of Eritrean forces is fuelling insecurity. These forces must leave Ethiopia immediately, in line with the commitment made by Prime Minister Abiy in his announcement on 26 March of their withdrawal. We are clear that their withdrawal must be swift, unconditional and verifiable. We have yet to see any evidence that Eritrean forces are leaving Tigray.

Date and time of answer: 26 Apr 2021 at 12:53.

Subject: Written answer to your QWA HL14678 received from Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL14678):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the influence and role of the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (1) in the Horn of Africa, and (2) in brokering a peace agreement between the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea; and what discussions they have with the government of (a) Saudi Arabia, and (b) the United Arab Emirates, about the conflict in Tigray. (HL14678)

Tabled on: 12 April 2021

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

The Governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have a clear interest in the security and prosperity of the Horn of Africa, and were prominent in brokering the 2018 peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea. We have regular discussions, with both the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, on our shared interests in stability in Ethiopia and ending the conflict in Tigray. Most recently my Rt Hon. Friend the Minister of State for Middle East and North Africa discussed the situation in Ethiopia, including efforts to resolve the border dispute with Sudan, with Emirati counterparts on his visit to the region of 28-29 March. Last month I also spoke with the UAE Minister of State Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan Al Nahyan about stability in the Horn of Africa, an issue we will discuss again in the coming weeks.

Date and time of answer: 26 Apr 2021 at 12:54.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL14675):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the current situation in Tigray; and what reports they have received about (1) human rights atrocities, (2) levels of starvation, (3) the number of displaced people and refugees, and (4) fighting, in that region. (HL14675)

Tabled on: 12 April 2021

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

The humanitarian situation in Tigray is dire, basic services have collapsed and the humanitarian response is hampered by poor security and access. There are credible reports of atrocities committed by all parties to the conflict, including harrowing reports of mass killings and rape. A joint humanitarian and political team from the British Embassy in Addis Ababa visited Tigray on on 4-5 March and 4-7 April. They met with the provisional administration of Tigray, the Mayor of Mekelle, the Interim Head of Administration in Shire and with humanitarian agencies working in the region. They spoke directly to people displaced by violence and heard harrowing accounts of human rights violations. The team also saw UKAid work in action and learned of the challenges across Tigray.

We will hold Prime Minister Abiy to his statement on 23 March that the perpetrators of human rights atrocities should face justice – whoever they are. Further atrocities including sexual and gender-based violence must stop and an independent investigation of those that have occurred must take place. The UK will support the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ planned investigations.

Since the conflict started, the UK has consistently called for an end to fighting, and for all parties to the conflict to prioritise the protection of civilians. The conflict in Tigray has had significant consequences and displaced hundreds of thousands of people, over 70,000 moving into Sudan, as well as impacting those that were already in need of humanitarian assistance. Currently 4.5 million are in need of food aid. I made clear the dire humanitarian situation in the UNSC Open Debate on Conflict and Food Security on 11 March. To date the UK has provided £19 million of badly needed support to people in Tigray -to deliver critical food aid, safe drinking water, sanitation and nutritional supplies and medical care. We continue to call for a de-escalation and a long-term political solution. A sustainable political solution is required to resolve the crisis.

Date and time of answer: 26 Apr 2021 at 12:48.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL14679):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the (1) dispute between the governments of Sudan and Ethiopia over the al-Fashaga territory, and (2) involvement of the government of (a) Eritrea, and (b) Egypt, in that dispute. (HL14679)

Tabled on: 12 April 2021

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

We are concerned about the increase of tensions on the Sudanese Ethiopian border in the al-Fashaga territory and have stressed the need for de-escalation on both sides. We are also concerned by the numbers of people displaced and the impact this will have in the region.

We have been in discussions with Eritrea and Sudan regarding their shared border, along with a range of partners who also have shared interests in stability in Ethiopia and the wider Horn of Africa. We are encouraging all parties to de-escalate and engage in a political process. Neither party to the dispute has raised concerns with us about the involvement of third countries.

Date and time of answer: 26 Apr 2021 at 12:48.

Last modified on Tuesday, 27 April 2021 00:24