A Chinese envoy on Monday called for time and space for goods offices to play out in Ethiopia.
China always supports African solutions to African problems. It welcomes the good offices of Olusegun Obasanjo, the African Union (AU) high representative for the Horn of Africa, and calls on all parties concerned and regional countries to provide full support to his work, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.
Likewise, China also welcomes the offer of good offices by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and expects enhanced coordination between the United Nations and the AU so they can work in concert to play a constructive role in promoting nationwide peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia, he told the Security Council.
"The international community, the Security Council, in particular, should give the time and space needed for the AU and others to carry out their good offices," said Zhang. "Using trade restrictions or cutting off aid as a means to exert maximum pressure on Ethiopia will only interfere with the political settlement, and will not help the parties resolve their conflicts and rebuild mutual trust."
The current situation in Ethiopia is the result of a combination of political, historical, ethnic, and other factors, the solutions of which can only be found from within. Regional countries and regional organizations know the best about the historical background and the present challenges in Ethiopia, and, therefore, can play a leading role in the political settlement of the Ethiopian issue, he said.
Humanitarian needs in Ethiopia are enormous. The international community should help Ethiopia improve its humanitarian response capacity and scale up relief delivery so that humanitarian assistance can, to the maximum extent possible, reach everyone in need. When providing humanitarian support to Ethiopia, there is a need to respect the country's sovereignty and leadership, follow the UN guiding principles for humanitarian actions and avoid politicizing humanitarian issues, he said.
All parties concerned in Ethiopia should fulfill their obligations under international humanitarian law; protect civilians, including foreign nationals; facilitate humanitarian relief operations; and prevent the further deterioration of the humanitarian situation, he added.
As a good friend of the people of Ethiopia, China sincerely hopes that all relevant parties in Ethiopia will put the interests of the country and its people first, keep calm, and exercise restraint to avoid further escalation of the situation. At the same time, China hopes they will commit to resolving conflicts and differences through political dialogue so as to create conditions for peace and reconciliation, said Zhang.
The Security Council issued a press statement on Friday on the situation in Ethiopia, calling for a cessation of hostilities and the commencement of political dialogue. China hopes all the relevant parties will respond positively, he said.
Ethiopia is a country with a long history and splendid civilization. At every historical juncture, the people of Ethiopia have been able to come together to defend the country's sovereignty, unity and long-term development, said Zhang. "We are confident that the people of Ethiopia have the capacity and wisdom to overcome the current challenges, maintain national unity, and move the country back to the right track of peace, stability, development and revitalization. China stands ready to work with the international community to continue to support the efforts of the people of Ethiopia." Enditem