Biden administration releases first statement on ceasefire in Tigray: we are closely monitoring developments

The Biden administration has released its first full statement on the ceasefire announced by the Ethiopian government on Monday in the northern region of Tigray.

The statement was released by the United States Department of State in Washington D.C. on Tuesday evening.

President Joe Biden walks with Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken after delivering remarks Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz) 
President Joe Biden walks with Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken after delivering remarks Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

The government said it is closely monitoring the developments, noting that the ceasefire could be a “positive step.”

“The Government of Ethiopia’s announcement yesterday of a unilateral ceasefire in the Tigray region could be a positive step if it results in changes on the ground to end the conflict, stop the atrocities, and allow unhindered humanitarian assistance. We are closely monitoring developments.  We call on all parties to commit to an immediate, indefinite, negotiated ceasefire, so as to end the violence, restore stability to Tigray, and create a context for an inclusive dialogue that preserves the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ethiopian state,” the U.S. government said.  

It urged “all parties to adhere strictly to international humanitarian law and commit to unhindered humanitarian access and independent mechanisms for accountability for human rights violations and abuses.”

“We continue to call for the immediate, verifiable withdrawal of all Eritrean forces from Ethiopian territory, a necessary step for an effective, sustainable ceasefire and in accordance with the Ethiopian government’s March commitment to do so.

“Our paramount priority is addressing the dire humanitarian situation.  The United States stands ready to work with the Ethiopian government, Tigrayan authorities, the United Nations, and other international partners to expedite the delivery of life-saving food assistance, including to the estimated 900,000 people likely already experiencing famine conditions.  In this regard, we urge the Ethiopian authorities to immediately restore telecommunication services in Tigray and permit unhindered freedom of movement for and ensure the safety and security of humanitarian organization personnel,” added the U.S. government.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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