UN Security Council to discuss food security

unsc 2021
Photo: Shannon Stapleton/ Reuters

The UN Security Council (UNSC) will convene today to discuss urgent humanitarian crises in Yemen and Ethiopia.

The US assumed the presidency of the UNSC for March. US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield has placed humanitarian crises in the spotlight, in particular expressing concern over the recent crisis in Ethiopia between the central government and the rebellious Tigray region that has drawn in Eritrean forces.

As Ethiopia is one of the US’s closest allies in Africa, the implications of the country’s destabilisation will undermine Washington’s security interests in the Horn of Africa. For instance, efforts to neutralise terrorist groups like al-Shabaab will be put at risk. The conflict could also draw Ethiopia’s focus inward and away from its regional peacekeeping commitments.

Expect today’s meeting to involve further deliberations on what actions to take to mitigate the conflict’s effects. Thomas-Greenfield will likely take the lead to alleviate Ethiopia’s humanitarian concerns. Washington might leverage US aid to incentivise Ethiopia’s government to end the conflict and force Eritrean troops to withdraw. The US will likely not join the EU in suspending aid; instead, President Joe Biden’s administration might lean on its diplomatic and humanitarian assistance approach to prevent the region’s destabilisation. Expect the UNSC to push for access to reports on crimes carried out by the armed forces of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

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