EU-Ethiopia relations: EU Council conclusions stress the strategic partnership and EU’s deep concerns about the situation in the Tigray region

The Council today adopted conclusions stressing on the one hand Ethiopia’s important role as a strategic partner and a key multilateral actor, and on the other hand reiterating the EU’s great concerns regarding the situation in the Tigray region and the wider region.

Ethiopia is currently in a complex domestic situation with major implications for the greater region. The armed conflict in the Tigray region exacerbates tensions in the Horn of Africa. Further military escalation and long-term instability must be avoided.

In the conclusions the EU urges all parties to immediately end violence in the Tigray region, and ensure full, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access to all people in need in all areas.

While acknowledging the Ethiopian government’s work to address some of the needs of the population in the region, the EU stresses the need to increase these efforts, and guarantee full cooperation with the UN and all humanitarian organisations on the ground.

The Council is extremely concerned by the numerous testimonies as to possible war crimes and crimes against humanity, extra-judicial killings and other serious human rights violations and abuses. The EU calls for these actions to end immediately and for perpetrators to be brought to justice.

The EU encourages the Ethiopian government to enhance its cooperation with the African Union, in order to take peaceful and concerted decisions to preserve the stability of the whole region and to ensure a political solution to the conflict.

The EU wishes to pursue the constructive dialogue with the Ethiopian government on all these issues; the EU also notes the far-reaching democratic transition process Ethiopia is undergoing, with important political and economic reforms being implemented. With regard to the announcement of general elections to be held on 5 June 2021, the EU welcomes the commitment by the Ethiopian government to hold credible and transparent elections and is ready to continue to support such a process.