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World US 'gravely concerned' over Tigray situation: Blinken

08:51  28 february  2021
08:51  28 february  2021 Source:   afp.com

Conflict in Tigray: Washington suspends part of its financial aid to Ethiopia

 Conflict in Tigray: Washington suspends part of its financial aid to Ethiopia © REUTERS / Tiksa Negeri / Tigray conflict in Ethiopia: militiamen from the Amhara region on their way to the front to fight the TPLF Tigrayan, the November 9, 2020. (illustrative image) The United States has decided to suspend part of its financial aid to Ethiopia as serious accusations of human rights violations hang over the authorities Ethiopian.

"The United States is gravely concerned by reported atrocities and the overall deteriorating situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia," Blinken said. " We ask international partners, especially the African Union and regional partners, to work with us to address the crisis in Tigray , including through action at the U.N. and other relevant bodies." Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's federal army ousted the former local ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), from the regional capital Mekelle in November, but low-level fighting has continued.

"The United States is gravely concerned by reported atrocities and the overall deteriorating situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. We strongly condemn the killings, forced removals and displacements, sexual assaults, and other extremely serious human rights violations and abuses by several parties that multiple organisations have reported in Tigray . We are also deeply concerned by the worsening humanitarian crisis", Blinken said in a Saturday statement. The US State Department called for the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces and Amhara regional forces from Tigray and for unilateral

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday condemned alleged atrocities committed in Ethiopia's Tigray and called on the African Union and other international partners to help address the crisis in the conflict-hit region.

Tony Blinken wearing a suit and tie: Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said the United States is 'gravely concerned' over the situation in Ethiopia's conflict-hit Tigray region © Manuel Balce Ceneta Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said the United States is 'gravely concerned' over the situation in Ethiopia's conflict-hit Tigray region

His comments came a day after a report by Amnesty International alleging Eritrean soldiers fighting in Tigray had killed hundreds of people in November last year in what the rights group described as a likely crime against humanity.

Tigray official slams damage by troops from 'neighbouring' country

  Tigray official slams damage by troops from 'neighbouring' country Troops from a "neighbouring country" destroyed factories and universities during the conflict in Ethiopia's northern Tigray state, an official with the region's interim administration told state media Thursday in an apparent reference to Eritrea. Tigray has been the theatre of fighting since early November 2020, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced military operations against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), accusing them of attacking federal army camps.He declared victory after pro-government troops took the regional capital Mekele in late November and appointed an interim government to take over from the TPLF leadership.

Blinken is still arguing for a resurgence in Washington's military intervention in Syria. He lamented in a May interview that the Obama-Biden administration hadn't done enough to prevent a "horrific situation " in Syria, and he faulted Trump for squandering what remaining leverage the US had on the Bashar Assad regime by pulling troops out of the country. "Our leverage is vastly even less than it was, but I think we do have points of leverage to try to effectuate some more positive developments," Blinken said.

Blinken says Capitol insurrection hurt US standing as defender of democracy. "There's no doubt that our ability to speak with that, that, that strong voice for democracy and human rights, took a hit with what happened on January 6," Blinken said on "The Situation Room." "But I gotta tell you, I actually see the glass as half full on that because we had a peaceful transition of power pursuant to our Constitution."

"The United States is gravely concerned by reported atrocities and the overall deteriorating situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia," Blinken said in a statement.

"We are also deeply concerned by the worsening humanitarian crisis."

Tigray has been the theater of fighting since early November, when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced military operations against the northern region's former ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front, accusing it of attacking federal army camps.

Pro-government troops took the regional capital Mekele in late November but clashes have persisted in the region.


Video: Myanmar police move to stamp out protests after envoy appeals to U.N. to stop coup (Reuters)

"We ask international partners, especially the African Union and regional partners, to work with us to address the crisis in Tigray, including through action at the UN and other relevant bodies," Blinken said.

He called for the "immediate withdrawal" of Eritrean forces and Amhara regional forces from Tigray and unilateral declarations of a cessation of hostilities by all parties.

The presence of Eritrean troops in Ethiopia in the Tigray conflict has been widely documented but has been denied by both countries.

Eritrea has rejected Amnesty's allegations.

Blinken in early February had voiced grave concern over Tigray and urged immediate humanitarian access.

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Eritrean soldiers killed hundreds of civilians in Tigray: HRW .
Children among those shot dead by troops in a November massacre in Axum, Ethiopia’s Tigray region, rights group says.Friday’s report was the second major analysis on Eritrean abuses in the town of Axum, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in the past week.

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