G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ Meeting: Communiqué on Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan
Joint Statements, London, 05/05/2021
We reaffirm our determination to strengthen partnerships with African countries, regional organisations and the African Union, building on the progress made under recent Presidencies. We will work with them to boost prosperity, economic inclusion, and stability for all. In that context we particularly welcome the ratification of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, and commend the bravery of African peacekeepers across the continent. Our commitments on global health security and systems, strengthening open societies, gender equality, girls’ education, support for adaptation to climate change, and famine prevention will have tangible impact on the continent. We will look for opportunities to work closely with our African partners on shared challenges throughout our Presidency year.
We recall our statement of 2 April 2021 about the situation in Tigray, and remain deeply concerned about the continued violence and the worsening humanitarian and human rights crises. We condemn the killing of civilians, rape and sexual exploitation, and other forms of gender-based violence, destruction and looting of religious and cultural heritage sites, and the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Tigrayans and Eritrean refugees. We welcome the agreement between the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate human rights violations and abuses. We call on all parties to cease hostilities immediately, ensure the protection of civilians and respect human rights and international law as well as media freedom and access, and hold those responsible for human rights violations and abuses, including sexual violence, accountable. We urge parties to the conflict to provide immediate, unhindered humanitarian access, given the worsening food insecurity. The presence of foreign forces in Tigray is deeply disturbing and destabilising. We acknowledge the announcement from the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea that Eritrean forces will withdraw from Tigray but remain concerned that this has not yet commenced. The process of withdrawal must be swift, unconditional and verifiable. We call for the establishment of a clear inclusive political process in Tigray. We remain committed to the unity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia. We also call for a broader inclusive political process in Ethiopia to enable credible elections and wider national reconciliation.
We are deeply concerned about the political impasse in Somalia, recent violent clashes between government and opposition-aligned forces, and the humanitarian consequences. We were dismayed by the decision to extend the mandates of Mohamed Farmajo as President and of the Somali Parliament by two years which is not a solution to the ongoing impasse on the electoral process, but instead undermines the credibility of Somalia’s leadership, threatens the progress of Somali institutions, and risks the safety and future of the Somali people. We welcome Parliament’s 1 May endorsement of a resumption of talks between the Federal Government and Federal Member State leaders aimed at finalising the electoral model based on the 17 September agreement. We underline our opposition to any further initiatives leading to an extension of prior mandates without broad support from Somali stakeholders and oppose any parallel processes or partial elections. We urge Somalia’s leaders to show restraint and refrain from any further unilateral actions that could escalate political tensions or violence. It is vital that all parties remain calm and protect Somalia’s stability and security. We welcome the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council to appoint a Special Envoy and we stand ready to support these efforts. We urge Somalia’s leaders to uphold their responsibilities to the people of Somalia by returning to talks immediately. We ask that they engage in constructive dialogue, find practical solutions and reach consensus on remaining issues. Failure to do so will lead the international community to change its approach to Somalia.
We commend the efforts of the transitional government to deliver peace, prosperity and democracy in Sudan following the revolution of 2019. This includes the implementation of key economic reforms that will help pave the way to debt relief, progress towards a comprehensive peace agreement, and the continued and meaningful inclusion of women in the transition. The G7 are supporting this progress, politically and financially, and urge continued attention and assistance from the international community to ensure the transition is a success and delivers lasting change for the people of Sudan.