Durbin Discusses Recent Ceasefire In Ethiopia With Special Envoy For The Horn Of Africa Mike Hammer

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke with U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa (SEHOA) Mike Hammer to discuss the ceasefire and ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia. During the meeting, Hammer updated Durbin on the November 2nd Permanent Cessation of Hostilities Agreement between the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the subsequent November 12th implementation agreement.  The November 2nd agreement included the creation of an African Union-led verification and monitoring mission, the expedited delivery of humanitarian assistance, the disarmament of the TPLF, and granting control to the Ethiopian government of federal properties in the region of Tigray.  Durbin also discussed the situation in Ethiopia with United States Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield a few weeks ago.

The years-long conflict generated a humanitarian crisis for millions throughout Ethiopia.  Up to one million people are estimated to have been killed, either through starvation, direct violence, or lack of access to health care. Approximately 90 percent of residents in Tigray are food insecure, and almost half suffer from a severe lack of food, and humanitarian needs are projected to remain significant in the near and long-term. 

“The conflict between the Ethiopian government and TPLF has left one million dead, and millions more without the necessities to survive,” said Durbin. “The world cannot turn a blind eye to the ongoing humanitarian crisis and atrocities committed in Ethiopia. As I stated to Special Envoy Hammer, I will continue to closely monitor the ceasefire agreement, and remain hopeful that both sides can end this brutal war, for the sake of innocent lives.” 

Durbin is a cosponsor of Senator Coons’ Ethiopia Peace and Democracy Promotion Act of 2021, bipartisan legislation to bolster the United States’ diplomatic, development, and legal response to support democracy, human rights, peace, and stability in Ethiopia. 

In 2010, Durbin and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) traveled to Ethiopia, where the Senators met with the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.