Ottawa is calling on Eritrea to withdraw its armed forces from the Tigray region in Ethiopia, a couple days after a ceasefire was announced to put a hold on a conflict that has led to the world's worst famine crisis in a decade.
Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau and International Development Minister Karina Gould say in a statement that Canada welcomes the ceasefire and urge all parties to allow unhindered humanitarian access.
They say Eritrea, which has forces fighting with the Ethiopian government against the Tigray rebels, must pull its forces from the region immediately.
Ethiopia's government on Monday declared an immediate, unilateral ceasefire in the region in an announcement that was carried by state media shortly after the Tigray interim administration, appointed by the federal government, fled the regional capital, Mekele, and called for a ceasefire.
Meanwhile, Mekele residents cheered the return of Tigray forces.
The ceasefire, which Ethiopia said will last until the end of the crucial planting season in September, could calm a war that has destabilized Africa's second-most populous country and threatened to do the same in the wider Horn of Africa.
Garneau and Gould say Canada stands ready to support Ethiopia's government and people in pursuing a national, inclusive political process and reconciliation that reflects the will of all citizens.
This report was first published by The Canadian Press on June 30, 2021.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
The Canadian Press