Release of detainees an ‘important confidence-building step’ in Ethiopia, says UN chief

Some leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which has been fighting government forces in the north for more than a year, were among those granted amnesty, according to media reports.

Call for ceasefire

“I welcome the release today from prison in Ethiopia of many detainees, including key opposition figures,” the UN chief said in a statement.

“I call on the parties to build on this important confidence-building step by agreeing to a cessation of hostilities and a lasting ceasefire, as well as by launching a credible and inclusive national dialogue and a reconciliation process.

The Secretary-General said he would remain actively engaged with all stakeholders to assist Ethiopia in its efforts to end the fighting and restore peace and stability.

peace and prosperity

The UN estimates that more than five million people in the northern Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Last month, the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva voted to establish an international commission of experts to investigate allegations of violations during the conflict.

The decision to release the detainees was taken on Orthodox Christmas Day, an important holiday in Ethiopia.

Sending warm wishes to those celebrating, Mr. Guterres added, “May the spirit of this celebration contribute to a peaceful and prosperous Ethiopia.”

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