The people and Government of Tigray have always had a clear stance on the peaceful resolution of the current conflict. We have from the get-go made it clear to friends and foes alike that all political problems should be resolved through peaceful means. This is not just because we believe peace to be a matter of survival but also because we have made every effort to bring it about. In short, the people and Government of Tigray have always expressed their willingness and readiness to resolve the situation facing us peacefully; over the past four years, we have repeatedly conveyed this message to all relevant stakeholders.
17 months ago, we were forced to enter into a war to ensure our very survival because all peaceful avenues for the resolution of political problems were closed off, and because a vicious military campaign has been initiated to exterminate the people of Tigray. In general, peace, not war, has always been our choice. Even at the moment, war is not our choice. While our people should have received humanitarian assistance provided by the international community without any obstruction, virtually no aid has been allowed into Tigray on account of the blockade of Tigray. The restoration of telecommunication and banking services, among other things, very simple steps for the Abiy government to undertake, would have saved countless lives.
However, if the right circumstances arise for our people to receive the level of humanitarian assistance commensurate with needs on the ground, and within a reasonable timeframe, the Government of Tigray is committed to implementing a cessation of hostilities effective immediately. The Government of Tigray will do everything it can to make sure that this cessation of hostilities is a success. We call on the Ethiopian authorities to go beyond empty promises and take concrete steps to facilitate unfettered humanitarian access to Tigray. While the Government of Tigray is committed to the success of this endeavor, we would like to note that linking political and humanitarian issues are unacceptable. Nonetheless, the people and Government of Tigray will do their best to give peace a chance.