New York: Ongoing military operations in some parts of Ethiopia remain a challenge to the peace process and sour the confidence building measures, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said.
"Let me reiterate my call on all parties to move rapidly towards cessation of hostilities as a critical step in the right direction for peace-making," Guterres said in a statement on Wednesday.
"I am delighted that after over a year of armed conflict which has affected millions of people across Ethiopia and the rest of the region, there is now a demonstrable effort to make peace," he added.
On Wednesday, Guterres had a telephone conversation with the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo, to exchange views with him on the conflict in Ethiopia following his latest visit to Addis Ababa and Mekelle, the capital of the regional state of Tigray.
Obasanjo briefed the UN chief about the efforts being made by the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) to move towards a resolution of the violent conflict and expressed optimism that there is now a real opportunity for political and diplomatic resolution of the conflict.
"The United Nations stands ready to support an all-inclusive and nationally owned dialogue, peace, security, and reconciliation process in Ethiopia. The international community must continue to emphasise the need for all parties to demonstrate sincerity and commitment to the peace process," he stated.
"While we observe the AU-led peace process with great hope, we remain concerned about the humanitarian situation in various parts of Ethiopia affected by the war. I again call on all actors in the conflict to support and facilitate local and international efforts to provide humanitarian aid to those in need," he concluded.