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News: Blinken ramps up calls for ceasefire, humanitarian access in talks with Demeke, Obasanjo

Secretary Blinken Meets with African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa Olusegun Obasanjoat the Department of State, on October 12, 2021. [State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain]

Addis Abeba, November 11/2021 – The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen and AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday, the state department said.

In his call with Demeke, Secretary Blinken “expressed concern over the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia and emphasized the urgency of taking concrete steps for peace.  The Secretary reiterated his call for all parties to the conflict including the Ethiopian government to urgently and seriously engage in negotiations on a cessation of hostilities without preconditions.  He underscored the need for immediate unhindered humanitarian access to northern Ethiopia and in support of all Ethiopian communities in need.”

Similarly, Secretary Blinken spoke with AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa Olusegun Obasanjo on the same day, during which he  expressed the “strong support of the United States for President Obasanjo’s efforts to mediate among the parties to the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia,” the state department added.

“The Secretary and President Obasanjo discussed the urgent need for a halt to all military operations, negotiations on a cessation of hostilities without preconditions, and unhindered humanitarian access.  The Secretary expressed his concern that the bellicose rhetoric on all sides of the conflict risks fueling intercommunal violence. The Secretary offered his appreciation for President Obasanjo’s continued work to find a sustainable peace for all Ethiopians.” AS

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