NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that “inflammatory rhetoric and ethnic profiling” are tearing apart the Ethiopian society in an apparent shift from his firm stance in support for Ethiopian government’s assertion that it needs time to return the country to normalcy.
Guterres who was speaking before the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) yesterday praised the young people in Ethiopia, but warned that their energies are being diverted into paths of divisions with use of political rhetoric that divides the Ethiopian society.
“Inflammatory rhetoric and ethnic profiling are tearing apart the social fabric of the country. The wider region is already witnessing the political, economic and social impact of the conflict beyond the borders of Ethiopia. Second, the human price of this war is mounting by the day. A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding before our eyes,” Guterres told the Council.
“Ethiopia is a country full of promise – driven in large measure by the energy and initiative of its youth. It is heartbreaking to see many young Ethiopians being instrumentalized and mobilized in the war effort. Their energies are being channeled into a path of division and destruction instead of the path of building a better future for all Ethiopians. They will be the ultimate casualties in this needless conflict,” he added.
The top United Nations official further said he “deeply concerned by reports of horrific sexual and gender-based violence from survivors, including women and children. I condemn these atrocious acts in the strongest possible terms.
“This is compounded by other serious allegations of human rights violations and abuses against civilians, reportedly perpetrated by all parties to the conflict. There must be accountability.”
The UN chief further said the conflict in Ethiopia is not showing any sign of ending and has now spread to neighboring Afar and Amhara states after Tigrayan forces launched attacks last months.
“Other actors in Ethiopia have entered the fight through mass mobilization and the activation of regional armed groups,” Mr Guterres said.