71.The humanitarian crisis in Tigray—and the international response to it—matters on three levels. First, it matters because of the scale and harrowing nature of the suffering, with lives lost and devastated because of the conflict. The international community has a narrowing window of opportunity to stop this suffering and manage the risk of conflict spreading or becoming protracted. Secondly, through its aid programme in Ethiopia and the broader region, the UK has made a considerable investment in the region’s ongoing development. This conflict has potential to undermine that investment and to set back development in Tigray, Ethiopia and the wider-region. Ethiopia is a country with great potential, but one where much of that potential will be at risk if an inclusive peace cannot be found and a process of long-term reconciliation started in Tigray, as well as in other parts of Ethiopia where the potential for conflict is high.
72.Finally, it matters because the conditions—a conflict that could become protracted or could destabilise the region and spread, allegations of human rights abuses, gender-based violence, sexual violence, the allegations of genocide and the use of hunger as a weapon of war—represent an early test of the Government’s new approach to integrated diplomacy and development and its commitment to establish the UK as a ‘force for good’ in the world.
73.We believe that the UK Government should be working to:
To achieve this, the FCDO will need to work with the Government of Ethiopia, regional authorities, its bilateral partners and multilateral organisations, including the UN Security Council, in a coordinated effort that will be a true test of the approach it has set out in the Integrated Review.