U.S. calls for independent probe into massacres in Tigray region in Ethiopia

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The United States government on Thursday called for an independent investigation following massacres in the Tigray region in Ethiopia.

The United States said the investigation should not be conducted by the Ethiopian government or the the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is fighting the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

U.S. Department of State Bureau of African Affairs Assistant Secretary Tibor P. Nagy and U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael A. Raynor spoke with reporters in a telephone conference from Washington D.C.

Mr. Nagy called for communication to be re-established in Tigray region and for humanitarian access to be ensured.

He said the United States remains concerned that civilians have been targeted, and that journalists have been arrested by the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

He called on neighboring countries to continue to welcome asylum seekers from Ethiopia, adding that the U.S. government is tracking the outflow of civilians from Ethiopia.

Nagy indicated that the U.S. government did not have any evidence the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhnom Ghebreyesus was supporting Tigray’s rebels or was trying to procure weapons for them as alleged the military in Ethiopia on Thursday.

Asked by reporters via teleconference whether he had seen any evidence the WHO chief was either lobbying or trying to purchase weapons for the TPLF, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of African Affairs Assistant Secretary Tibor P. Nagy said the allegations did not come from the US government.

Pressed further to say whether the US government had seen any evidence the WHO boss was actively engaged with the rebels, Tibor P. Nagy referred reporters to seek answers from the Ethiopian government.

Ethiopia’s military on Thursday baselessly accused Tedros of backing the rebels.

The military claimed without providing any evidence that the WHO chief was trying to procure arms for Tigray state’s main political party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is fighting the federal government.

Ethiopia’s army chief of staff General Birhanu Jula said in a televised address that Dr. Tedros Adhnom Ghebreyesus should be removed from office because he is “a criminal” and “a member of that group.”

Birhanu claimed that Tedros was using his international platform to get diplomatic support and weapons for the TPLF.

“He has been doing everything to support them, he has campaigned to get the neighboring countries to condemn the war,” Birhanu said in his televised address, without providing any evidence.

“He has worked to facilitate weapons for them. He tried to lobby people by using his international profile and mission to get support for the TPLF junta,” he added.

Tedros is an Ethiopian of Tigrayan origin but the military did not provide any evidence to back up its incendiary claims.

As he fights the deadly coronavirus, Dr. Tedros, who was Ethiopia’s health minister and foreign minister in a ruling coalition led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), has often come under attack from people in his own country, and from the outgoing American President, Donald John Trump, who also baselessly accused him and the WHO of being “China-centric” and of not providing the US early warnings about COVID-19.

President Donald J. Trump, joined by senior White House advisors and Cabinet members, addresses his remarks in the Rose Garden at a press briefing on issues with China and announcing the termination of U.S. relations with the World health Organization. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)
President Donald J. Trump, joined by senior White House advisors and Cabinet members, addresses his remarks in the Rose Garden at a press briefing on issues with China and announcing the termination of U.S. relations with the World health Organization. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

But a book and tapes by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward showed that Mr. Trump deliberately downplayed the pandemic to protect his presidency. He also praised China himself and only began to blame everyone else when many Americans began to die under his watch.

President Donald J. Trump, joined by senior White House advisors and Cabinet members, addresses his remarks in the Rose Garden at a press briefing on issues with China and announcing the termination of U.S. relations with the World health Organization. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)
President Donald J. Trump, joined by senior White House advisors and Cabinet members, addresses his remarks in the Rose Garden at a press briefing on issues with China and announcing the termination of U.S. relations with the World health Organization. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

The TPLF was the ruling party in Ethiopia for decades as the most powerful part of the coalition until Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018 promising to bring change.

The Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia H.E. Mr. Abiy Ahmed has arrived in Sochi to take part in the Russia–Africa Summit. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS
The Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia H.E. Mr. Abiy Ahmed arrives in Sochi to take part in the Russia–Africa Summit in October 2019 Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS

The TPLF has refused to join Abiy’s own national party, after the other three regional parties were folded into his own.

Tedros, 55, has survived previous unfounded accusations since he was elected in May 2017 as the WHO’s first African director-general.

Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

20 COMMENTS

  1. @amnesty Well the Tigrains in adiss and other parts of Ethiopia are accused of nothing but just being Tigrains are fired from their job and put in a detentions. So they are accusing @DrTedros because he is Tigraway🤷‍♀️ The hate they have for Tigray is unconditional.what is make you criminal to being Tigrains??

  2. The militia from Amhara region having massacring Tigrayan, Oromos and Gumuz people just because they are not Amaras. Abiy Ahmed is leading this massacre because he is Amara who born and grow in Oromia. The genocide carried out by these Neftegnas Hooligans is based on Racial profiling the politics of the Illegal PM Abiy Ahmed.

  3. The Ethiopian prime minister is killing innocent people in Tigray and other regions of Ethiopia, let the international community stop 🛑 this.

  4. This is clearly massive ethnic Genocide going on in Ethiopia. The Amhara Region Armed and Ethiopia military force gathered and slaughtered 200 innocent Tigraian people in West Tigray Region. I am pure Eritrean not Ethiopian but I will speak the truth. The WHO should ask Abiy Ahmed ,about the people who are closed their homes and crossing the border into Sudan while the pandemic is going on. WHO told to stay home , but Abiy drove them away.

  5. I believe this might be the way of Abiy Ahmed has been using to downgrade or eliminate individuals who speak up the reality on the ground and in Ethiopia. A good example, a respected and advocate unbiased young, very influential Jawar Mohammed an Oromo activist and political opponent was arrested by the same regime of Abiy Ahmed after assassination of an Oromo singer and activist Hachalu Hundessa. Abiy Ahmed fabricated the design my northern defense attacked by TPLF as an excuse to wage war in Tigray people as he has already waged war on civilians in Oromia region and Southern Ethiopian regions.
    World leaders help Abiy to commit heinous crimes on his own people simply by watching his evil deeds without taking any actions. Now, the country is within civil war. There’s no way to control in short period of time.

    The international criminal court (ICC) has to investigate Abiy’s heinous crimes in the country and justice must be served for victims everywhere in Ethiopia without further delay.

    The leader of WHO is an Ethiopian guy who is serving for all human beings to recover from COVID-19. Accusations of him as a member of TPLF is nonsense. I don’t see any problem even if he’s a member of TPLF. He’s not Abiy’s toy!

    Abiy has been deceiving his own people and the world from day one. He was the killer machine in the old regime of EPDRF. Now, he has betrayed his own people and continue killing unarmed Qeerroo (youth) in Oromia as well as other places in Ethiopia.

    He has to be removed from POWER and persecuted for his heinous crimes against humanity.

    The silence of world leaders give him more encouragement to commit more unseen crimes in his own citizens.

    The solution is release all political prisoners without preconditions, stop unwise civil war in his own people, and come around the table with independent moderater from United Nation, African Union and other influential people from around globe. If this Ethiopian unelected government cannot accept a negotiation offer, all countries believe in democracy must take measures and bring Abiy Ahmed to be accountable for all atrocities in the country.

  6. Always the truth will be out Abiy Ahemed is the terrorist him self as soon as he took the power in Ethiopian he start laying and accusing TPLF now he is killing by bombing tigray region.

  7. Abiy government is also conducting massacres all over oromia in Guji, Wollega, Arsi, Harage, bale and Borana regions who oppose his rule. UN and US should probe all the killings and mass detentions of Oromo in Ethiopia.

  8. The reporting seems impartial and encouraging position for the truth. But one thing I want correct you on your next post, TPLF is a legitimate & elected regional government unlike the unelected administration in Addis Ababa. I would recommend you to find another term for “rebel” since is TPLF elected by the people of Tigray. Very unfortunate, what is happening in Ethiopia is paving the road to absolute dictatorship & power consolidation. Tigray is fighting for decentralization, equalization, power-sharing, and ultimately very own survival. The golden card of Abyi is TPLF but all his deeds & the symptoms are Exterminating Tigrians as a people.

  9. Tedros Adhanom is TPLF and has served his party interest since 1991. No one will be surprised if he has come in defense of the Tigray Warlords by lobbying on their behalf.

    All the phone and text transcribtion should be reviewed by WHO Board immediatley. If he has indeed lobbied for TPLF war criminals he must resign immediatley.
    If the Board try to downplay the allegation the Ethiopian govt should come with its evidence and ask the WHO to fire Tedros Adhanom.

  10. The Tyranny Abiy Ahmed continued doing ethinic profiling Tigrayans in all over the country. In Ethiopia, being Tigrian is a crime. If you are Tigrian, your bank account gets blocked and your name is enlisted as a terriorist. Look at Dr. Tedros Adhanom. They always target him just because he is Tigrayan nothing else.
    The current government in Eth is completely full of hatred and revenges!

  11. Biased report. TPLF did the barbaric attack on national defense forces and innocents at the beginning. Abiy did the right operation to keep rule of law and order.

  12. Thank you for the briefly analysis that The prime minister of Ethiopia has been accusing Dr Tewodros falsely that he has been involved with the TPLF. That is not true but just because Dr Tewodros is from the Tigreans tribe. Abiy’s hatred is on Tigreans that’s why he’s committing genocide on Tigreans. He’s killing innocent Tigreans using UAE drones on a daily basis, he’s hunting Tigreans who lives in the capital city Addis Ababa, he’s imprisoning and attacking any Tigrean tribe in every corner of the country. He’s blocking Tigreans from the airport from going to any other countries.its beyond expectations what Abiy and his supporters are doing to Tigreans . Internet connection, telephone acess, electricity is blocked for more that 20 days now. Abiy is bombing industrial areas, dams, universities and farmlands of Tigrai, innocent Tigreans are bieng killed every hour…the world has to end this and take that criminal to world court enough is enough 🙌

  13. Hey every one im natenael and i am from ethiopia and all this news is not true the TapLF government is a tererist military organisation which comited genocide and money laundry for more than 25 years so stop blaming dr abiy he sad done noting…… you have to be in ethiopia to see the clear picture so stop broadcasting fake news mfkrs

  14. People of Tigray are almost,died because of their ethnicity,flew from their beloved country to the Neighbour country that is Sudan, America and other highly Power country should strongly condemn the war 🛑 in Ethiopia.

  15. Its sad that the US gives high priority to the allegations by the Ethiopian government but never discussed about the involvement of UAE and Eritrea in the so called low and order operations. Believe or not this genocide is backed by the Trump administration. And the Trump administration is involved in this civil war and genocide because the Ethiopian government promised to librate the Ethiopian economy and will sell them some of the successful organizations such as the Ethiopian airlines and Ethio-telecom.

  16. By now the world must know that there is a massive ethnic profiling going on in Ethiopia on Tigrayans! The only crime the Ethiopian government sees in the #WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is his being Tigrayan in blood! This , together with what is going on in ethiopia, should be an eye opener to the international community about the ethnic cleansing Tyrant Abiy Ahmed has started against the Tigray people!! Wake up world!

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