U.S. Secretary of State calls for end to violence in Tigray and immediate withdrawal of troops in phone call with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke Monday with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to once again voice the United States’ concern and condemnation regarding the ongoing humanitarian situation in the Tigray region and the continued occupation by Eritrean troops.

Abiy Ahmed 
Abiy Ahmed

During Monday’s press briefing, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price asserted that the United States is committed to building a fruitful and productive relationship with Ethiopia but went on to say, “We are gravely concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Tigray and the reports of human rights abuses, violations, and atrocities that have emanated from there.”

Price called on the international community to help resolve the situation in Tigray and expressed growing impatience regarding Eritrea’s failure to honor its promise to withdraw its troops. In late March, Eritrea agreed to withdraw all troops from the region but the U.S. State Department has reported that there is no evidence that any legitimate steps toward withdrawal have been taken.

A statement from Spokesperson Price regarding Secretary Blinken’s phone call with Abiy said, “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.”

The newly appointed Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Ambassador Feltman, will be travelling to Ethiopia in the coming days and plans to address the humanitarian crisis in Tigray during his visit.

The United States reiterated that it condemns “in the strongest terms” the heinous human rights abuses and atrocities that have been reported in the region. 

“As more information comes to light, the urgency to meet those commitments and to move forward with independent international investigations and accountability only increases,” said Spokesperson Ned Price, referring to conflict resolution in the region.

According to USAID, approximately 4.5 million people in the Tigray region are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance and there is growing concern over the possibility of impending famine if conflict is not resolved soon.

Noah Pitcher is a global politics correspondent for Today News Africa covering the U.S. government, United Nations, African Union, and other actors involved in international developments, political controversies, and humanitarian issues.

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