Secretary-General Welcomes Pause by Ethiopia’s National Defence Force, Announced Withdrawal of Tigrayan Forces from Afar, Amhara Regions

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General welcomes the Government of Ethiopia’s announcement yesterday that the Ethiopian National Defence Force will pause at its current positions.  He also welcomes the Tigrayan forces’ message that they had withdrawn from the Afar and Amhara regions back into the Tigray region.

The Secretary-General urges the parties to grasp this opportunity, cease hostilities in the year-long conflict, take all steps to ensure the provision of much-needed humanitarian assistance, the withdrawal of foreign fighters, and address political differences through a credible and inclusive national dialogue.

The Secretary-General encourages the parties to continue engagement with the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa, President Olusegun Obasanjo, and reiterates the full support of the United Nations to President Obasanjo’s mediation efforts.  He calls on the international community to play a constructive role in supporting an end to the fighting.

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