The United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom have requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. This was heard in diplomatic circles. The rebels retook Mekele, the capital of the northern region, from the interim government on Monday.
The meeting can take place on Friday. It is up to France, the president of the Security Council in July, to decide the date and time.
Since the start of the conflict in Ethiopia in November, Western countries have never been able to organize a public hearing on Tigray. African countries, China and Russia, among others, believe the crisis is an internal Ethiopian affair.
Countries may request a procedural vote before Saturday’s meeting on its merits. In this case, member states are not allowed to veto, but nine votes out of fifteen members are required for a general meeting.
The last Security Council meeting on Tigray was held on 15 June behind closed doors. At the time, diplomats said, China opposed a joint statement of the council on the risks of prolonging the famine in Ethiopia.
Forces loyal to the former Tigray Liberation Front arrested Mekele of the interim government on Monday. The latter then declared a ceasefire after eight months of conflict.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched an attack on the Tigray Liberation Front in November last year. He had promised the United Nations a short operation, but the fighting and atrocities continued.