Secretary Blinken’s Call with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed
The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:
(state)–Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed today to reiterate the United States’ grave concern about the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights crisis in the country, including the growing risk of famine in Ethiopia’s Tigray region as well as ongoing insecurity in other parts of the country. The Secretary pressed for Ethiopia’s and Eritrea’s commitments to withdraw Eritrean troops from Tigray to be implemented immediately, in full, and in a verifiable manner. In addition, the Secretary noted that Eritrean forces and Amhara regional forces in Tigray are contributing to the growing humanitarian disaster and committing human rights abuses. The Secretary also stressed the need for all parties to the conflict to end hostilities immediately.
Secretary Blinken welcomed the joint Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights investigation in Tigray to document human rights abuses and stressed the need for justice and accountability measures to hold those responsible to account. The Secretary noted his appointment of a Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and noted that Ambassador Feltman would travel to Ethiopia in the coming days.
Blinken presses Ethiopia on ‘humanitarian disaster’ in Tigray
(dailymail)—US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday pressed Ethiopia to address what he called an impending humanitarian “disaster” in Tigray, including rising fears of famine.
In a phone call with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Blinken voiced “grave concern about the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights crisis in the country,” a State Department statement said.
Blinken pressed for troops from neighboring Eritrea — which first acknowledged a presence in Tigray earlier this month and promised a withdrawal — to pull out “immediately, in full and in a verifiable manner.”
Forces in Tigray from Eritrea as well as the Ethiopian region of Amhara “are contributing to the growing humanitarian disaster and committing human rights abuses,” the statement said.
Blinken said that Jeffrey Feltman, a veteran diplomat given a new role of US special envoy for the Horn of Africa, would soon visit Ethiopia to press his points.
Abiy, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, launched an offensive in the Tigray region in November after accusing the long-ruling local party of attacking the military.
The United States is a longstanding ally of Ethiopia but has grown increasingly exasperated, with Blinken earlier describing the violence in Tigray as “ethnic cleansing.”
The United Nations said that 1.7 million people in Tigray were displaced at the end of March and that some have begun to die of hunger.
Last week the UN Security Council reached a consensus to issue its first statement on the crisis, voicing “deep concern” over rights violations.