UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for a cessation of hostilities and the start of a political dialogue in Ethiopia.
“The Ethiopian people have suffered too much. Humanitarian conditions are hellish. Millions of people are in need,” he said. “Infrastructure has been destroyed. We have heard first-hand accounts of women who have been subjected to unspeakable violence. The spread of the conflict has ensnared even more people in its horror.”
It is time for all parties to recognize that there is no military solution, and it is vital to preserve the unity and stability of Ethiopia which is critical to the region and beyond, he told reporters on World Humanitarian Day, which falls on Aug. 19.
He appealed for action on three fronts to give peace a chance: an immediate cessation of hostilities by all parties; unrestricted humanitarian access, together with the re-establishment of public services in all affected areas; and the start of an Ethiopian-led political dialogue to find a solution for the crisis.
“Such a dialogue can contribute to addressing the underlying causes of the conflict and ensure Ethiopian voices direct the pathway to peace,” said Guterres.
The United Nations will continue to work together with the African Union and regional and international partners to support the Ethiopian people on the way to peace and reconciliation, he said. “Now is the time to put an end to the suffering. All of these steps are critical to make it happen.”