Kenya has called on Ethiopian allies to step up efforts towards ensuring a long-lasting solution to the ongoing conflict between the Federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which has been fighting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government since last year.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement Wednesday expressed concern over the deteriorating situation stating that the restoration of peace in Ethiopia is urgent and critical for the country and its immediate neighbours.
“Kenya appeals to all friends and partners of the people of Ethiopia to redouble their efforts to help Ethiopians find lasting peace in their country,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
“The ongoing deterioration of the situation in Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front’s expansion from Tigray to Afar and Amhara regions is highly regrettable and deeply concerning,” it added.
On Tuesday, Ahmed’s government declared a state of emergency after the TPLF claimed significant territorial gains in recent days, along with its ally the Oromo Liberation Army .
The escalating conflict has sparked alarm among the international community, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and several Western powers calling for an immediate ceasefire and peace talks.
Kenya further pledged its support to Abiy’s government in the quest for peace
“Kenya reassures the people of Ethiopia of its commitment towards a peaceful, stable and united Ethiopia,” the Ministry said.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry also joined other countries in the rallying call for a ceasefire between the warring parties.
President Uhuru Kenyatta too called for Abiy and the warring faction to initiate dialogue so as to end the crisis.
“The lack of meaningful dialogue between the protagonists has been particularly disturbing to me and today I again call on all well-meaning men and women of Ethiopia to come together and find a solution to help find peace at this critical time,” he said.
Following the situation Kenya enhanced security along its border with Ethiopia Wednesday in a bid to prevent the spread of the situation in the country.
“The events happening across the border in Ethiopia, can have a spillover effect to Kenya and other neighbouring countries so we are just calling for alertness,” Police Spokesperson Bruno Shioso said on Thursday and denied that the border had been closed.
“The border is not closed but only that there is enhanced security and surveillance by our multi agency security teams. So far still calm without any suspicious movement,” he said.
Shioso however noted that there is no specific threat to the country at the moment due to the events in Ethiopia adding that the move aims to put the security agencies on the “normal state of preparedness”.
“We believe we will have a refugee influx downwards, so we want to beef up our security and let us be on general alert,” he said.
There are fears that the situation could also result in an influx of refugees into other countries, including Kenya.
Odaa Tarbii, spokesman for OLA, which has also claimed recent advances in Amhara and in the Oromia region surrounding Addis Ababa, said his group intended to topple Abiy’s government, calling his removal “a foregone conclusion”.
“If things continue in the current trajectory, then we are talking about a matter of months if not weeks,” he said, referring to OLA’s move on Addis Ababa.