Written answers

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Foreign Conflicts

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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140. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the initiatives that he has taken to date to address the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia; the progress that has been made to ensure that humanitarian assistance is available to vulnerable persons as a result of this conflict; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23173/22]

Photo of Colm BrophyColm Brophy (Dublin South West, Fine Gael)
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The situation in Tigray and in other parts of northern Ethiopia is of grave concern.

The conflict within Ethiopia which began in 2020 has had a devastating impact on civilians, with many killed or injured, and reports of widespread human rights violations. Over 9 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

Against this backdrop, I welcome the Government of Ethiopia's recent announcement of an indefinite humanitarian truce, and the statement on cessation of hostilities by the Tigrayan authorities.  

Notwithstanding this progress, the situation continues to be unpredictable and access challenges an obstacle to the delivery of the needed quantities of essential humanitarian assistance persist.  The possibility of a return to active hostilities remains.

Ireland fully supports the ongoing mediation work of African Union Special Envoy Olusegun Obasanjo and encourage engagement by all sides in his efforts to secure a lasting negotiated settlement and cessation of hostilities. A truly inclusive national dialogue and reconciliation process would help attain a sustainable peace. 

Ireland has played a leading role in the international response to the crisis, through our bilateral engagements, at the UN Security Council and within the European Union. Ethiopia was discussed at the Security Council most recently on 14 April, when the focus was on the humanitarian situation.  At that meeting Ireland called for immediate implementation of the humanitarian truce and delivery of humanitarian assistance to those most in need. A discussion on Ethiopia will take place at the Foreign Affairs Council on 16 May, a move supported by Ireland to ensure the situation in Ethiopia remains high on the EU’s agenda.  

In addition to our work to ensure a continued international focus on resolving this crisis, we have also been taking action directly to alleviate the humanitarian toll of the conflict. Ireland, through the Irish Aid programme, contributed almost €25 million to the humanitarian response in Ethiopia last year and this year is providing further support to tackle ongoing humanitarian need.


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