Ethiopians queue to catch a bus at a station in downtown Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 18, 2021. Ethiopia’s federal government on Monday declared a “unilateral ceasefire” in Tigray, as rebel fighters entered the regional capital Mekele sparking celebrations in the streets. Image Credit: AP

UNITED NATIONS: The United States, Ireland and Britain have called for an emergency UN Security Council public meeting concerning Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray, where rebel fighters were able to enter the regional capital of Mekele on Monday, diplomatic sources said.

The meeting could be held on Friday, the same sources added, although it is up to France, which holds the security council presidency in July, to set an exact date and time.

Since the war began in November, the West has yet to succeed in organising a public session on Tigray, with many African countries, China, Russia and other nations deeming the crisis an internal Ethiopian affair.

These countries could request a procedural vote on the merits of the meeting prior to its occurrence, which could nullify it. Permanent member states would not be able to veto the move, but a vote by nine out of the 15 member states would be able to assure that it occurs.

Ethiopia’s federal government on Monday declared a ceasefire in Tigray.

In a phone call, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopian Prime Minister,  explored issues of common concern. They also explored the latest regional and international efforts to achieve peace, stability and development, especially in African countries.

The UAE earlier welcomed the declaration of a ceasefire in the Tigray region, stressing that a political solution is the only way to end the conflict in the country.

In a statement today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation affirmed that this decision is an important step to achieve a political settlement and the aspirations of the Ethiopian people to build a future that meets their aspirations for peace and prosperity.

The statement added that a constructive dialogue within the framework of state institutions along with the rule of law and the constitution is the only way to bring lasting peace and stability to the country.

The Security Council’s last session on Tigray was held behind closed doors on June 15, just like all others before it since the conflict’s start. China was opposed, according to diplomats, to the adoption of a joint declaration by the Council on the risk of extended famine in Ethiopia.