African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat says he is following the escalating military confrontation in Ethiopia with concern.
The Chadian head of the AU’s Addis Ababa-based executive body called for an immediate cessation to hostilities in the country, which erupted last week when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced a military intervention against the leaders of the northern region of Tigray.
PM Abiy accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is the region’s ruling party, of attacking a federal military base and attempting to steal weapons, before declaring a state of emergency and limiting access to phone and internet services.
In a statement posted to social media Tuesday, Faki reaffirmed the AU’s “firm support” for Ethiopia’s constitutional order and territorial integrity, calling on the involved parties to engage in dialogue and “seek a peaceful solution in the interests of the country.”
2/3:I appeal for the immediate cessation of hostilities and call on parties to respect human rights & ensure protection of civilians; I further urge the parties to engage in dialogue to seek a peaceful solution in the interest of #Ethiopia.
— Moussa Faki Mahamat (@AUC_MoussaFaki) November 10, 2020
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) say casualties from the fighting in Ethiopia’s far-north already number in the hundreds, with the TPLF insisting that they will continue to defend themselves against federal efforts to dislodge them from power in the region.