UNITED NATIONS — Two United Nations high-ranking officials on Thursday expressed deep concern over reports of escalating ethnic tensions in Ethiopia and recent military clashes in the Tigray region, in which many civilians have allegedly been killed.
Pramila Patten, UN acting special adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, and Karen Smith, special adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, strongly condemned reports of targeted attacks against civilians based on their ethnicity or religion, according to a press release emailed to Xinhua on Thursday night from the Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect.
“The ongoing ethnic rhetoric, hate speech, incitement to violence and attacks prevailing in Ethiopia constitutes a serious threat to internal and regional stability and should immediately be addressed to avert further escalation of widespread violence,” the special advisers warned.
“We strongly urge the Ethiopian authorities to take urgent measures to protect its population from further violence and strongly encourage them to seek assistance from the international community, including from the United Nations and regional actors especially the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the African Union to aid in de-escalating the rising tensions in the country, especially ahead of the forthcoming elections,” the special advisers said.
The United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect stands ready to help the Ethiopian authorities and relevant stakeholders counter and address hate speech and prevent incitement to violence in the country, said the two officials.