The Minister for Africa has visited Ethiopia for talks on the ongoing conflict in the north of the country, as well as economic development and regional cooperation.
Africa Minister Vicky Ford has concluded a visit to Addis Ababa, part of a three-country trip to the region. The Minister met Prime Minister Abiy, State Minister Redwan and Finance Minister Shide to discuss concerns over the ongoing conflict and pathways to peace, as well as economic development and regional cooperation.
The conflict in the north of Ethiopia has been going on for 14 months and escalated significantly at the end of last year. The UK is supporting the African Union’s mediation efforts between the Government of Ethiopia and Tigrayan forces, to bring about a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
The fighting has created a dire humanitarian situation, with more people facing famine-like conditions in the north of the country than the rest of the world combined. In addition to humanitarian crisis in the north, the south is facing one of the worst droughts in decades. The UK is announcing £5 million of new funding for the drought in the south, £5 million for health and education services for people affected by conflict and £4.5m for peacebuilding and human rights. This is on top of more than £76m of humanitarian support provided by the UK to support people affected by the conflict in Tigray, Amhara and Afar.
Minister for Africa Vicky Ford said:
The UK is standing with Ethiopia as it faces the worst drought in decades in the South and ongoing conflict in the North, but I have made absolutely clear on this visit that the conflict is causing untold suffering and must end.
The UK continues to call on all parties to stop fighting and stands ready to support a peace process, and I have urged my counterparts to engage with the African Union-led mediation efforts. We welcome the establishment of a National Dialogue Commission and the release of some political prisoners as positive steps forward.
The support package I have announced on this visit will provide life-saving nutrition for 200,000 people facing one of the worst droughts in decades, support survivors of gender-based violence and build the capacity of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.
The UK is ready and willing to play a central role in the recovery from conflict. As well as our new aid package, the UK will work closely with our Ethiopian partners to deepen our economic co-operation and boost growth, prosperity and opportunity in both our countries.