UN Security Council to discuss Ethiopia conflict following CNN investigation into Tigray massacre

The UN Security Council will discuss the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region on Thursday behind closed doors, two UN diplomats have told CNN. US Secretary of State Tony Blinken spoke Tuesday with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed “to emphasize the United States’ concern about the humanitarian and human rights crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region,” according to the State Department.

Source: CNN

The development comes after investigations were published by CNN and Amnesty International last Friday into the massacre of civilians in two separate assaults in Tigray late last year.
Thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military operation against leaders in the Tigray region. CNN has previously reported that soldiers from neighboring Eritrea have perpetrated many of the extrajudicial killings, assaults and human rights abuses in the Tigray region.
Following the release of the investigations, Ethiopia has come under pressure from the United States to prevent further violence.
US Secretary of State Tony Blinken spoke Tuesday with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed “to emphasize the United States’ concern about the humanitarian and human rights crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region,” according to the State Department.
“Noting the growing number of credible reports of atrocities and human rights violations and abuses, the Secretary urged the Ethiopian government to take immediate, concrete steps to protect civilians, including refugees, and to prevent further violence. Secretary Blinken pressed for the immediate end to hostilities and the withdrawal of outside forces from Tigray, including Amhara regional security forces and Eritrean troops,” a readout of the call said.
This followed a statement Saturday, in which Blinken said the US was “gravely concerned by reported atrocities and the overall deteriorating situation” and urged “the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces and Amhara regional forces from Tigray.”
Ethiopia’s foreign ministry on Monday rejected Blinken’s criticism, saying it was “regrettable” that the US had attempted “to make pronouncements on Ethiopia’s internal affairs and specifically, the reference to the Amhara regional forces redeployment.”
“It should be clear that such matters are the sole responsibility of the Ethiopian government, which as a sovereign nation, is responsible to deploy the necessary security structures and means available in ensuring the rule of law within all corners of its borders,” the ministry said in a statement.
Later Monday, the ousted leader of Ethiopia’s Tigray region accused the federal government and its Eritrean allies of genocide and other crimes against humanity, calling on US President Joe Biden to dial up the pressure against “invader forces.”
In a rare and exclusive interview with CNN, Debretsion Gebremichael, President of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), called for an independent probe into alleged killings, rape and violence, including those revealed in the CNN investigation.
Eyewitnesses told CNN that a group of Eritrean soldiers opened fire in November on Maryam Dengelat church in Dengelat village, in Tigray’s east, while hundreds of congregants were celebrating mass. Dozens of people died over three days of mayhem, with soldiers slaughtering local residents, displaced people and pilgrims, they said.
Amnesty International charged in its report Friday that Eritrean forces killed hundreds of unarmed civilians in the city of Axum in November through indiscriminate shelling and shooting and extrajudicial killings, in what the human rights organization said could amount to a crime against humanity.
Eritrea’s government denied involvement in the atrocities reported by Amnesty, but has yet to respond to CNN’s request for comment in relation to the Dengelat massacre.

U.S. Urges Ethiopia to End Hostilities in Tigray

For the second time in a week, the secretary of state pointed to reports of atrocities in the Ethiopian region.

 

A damaged tank north of Tigray’s  capital last month.
Credit…Eduardo Soteras/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Tuesday pressed the leader od Ethiopia to end hostilities in the northern Tigray region, citing a “growing number of credible reports of atrocities and human rights violations and abuses.”

In a phone call with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Mr. Blinken pushed for Ethiopia to withdraw outside forces from Tigray, and for an immediate end to the violence, according to a State Department spokesman, Ned Price.

The Biden administration is seeking an end to what it describes as a deepening humanitarian crisis. It was the second time in less than a week that Mr. Blinken cited reports of atrocities in the region.

“The secretary urged the Ethiopian government to take immediate, concrete steps to protect civilians, including refugees, and to prevent further violence,” Mr. Price said in a statement Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters, he said, “We strongly condemn the killings, the forced removals and displacement, the sexual assaults, and other human rights violations and abuses by several parties that multiple organizations have now reported.”

Mr. Blinken also asked that Mr. Abiy allow independent international investigations.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Abiy, Billene Seyoum, pointed to a statement made late last month in which Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry called American attempts to intervene in its internal affairs “regrettable.”

The statement said that Ethiopia’s government took its responsibility for the safety, security, and well-being of all citizens “very seriously” and that it was “fully committed to undertake thorough investigations” into reports of abused.

But it added the government had a duty to hold the nation together in the face of “treasonous and divisive forces.”

The Ethiopians military ousted the former local ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, from the regional capital in November, after what it described as a surprise assault on its forces in Tigray.

Thousands of people have died, hundreds of thousands have been forced from homes and there are shortages of food, water and medicine around the region of more than five million people.

One comment

  1. Above article states that
    “spokeswoman for Mr. Abiy, Billene Seyoum, ….. Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry called American attempts to intervene in its internal affairs “regrettable.”

    USA has taken in the past harsher steps towards other states for very much lesser offences than what #abiy is doing (#genocide) of the #tigrepeople right now. In accordance of US replies ( past ones ) towards injustices, boots should have been in #tigreregion by now! In reality, USA is giving a wide lee-way to #abiy. Is the advice ‘stop the #genocide’ what Foreign Affair guy is regretting about?

    Mr. Foreign affairs should remember the following point clearly: that the #genocide on-going in #tigrregion is not a war of religions. And as such the usual cry of “ We are a Christian Island surrounded and invaded by Islam ” is not applicable this time. This is a war of ideologies. On one hand, #abiy and his bosses – the so called #amara elites – are trying to return the AMARA SUPERMACY under the guise of the non-sense MADAMAR. On the other hand, #tplf and the rest of long marginalized people – the majority of Ethiopians like Tigre, Oromo, Somali, Afars and the Southern Peoples – say no to the return of the past colonial era and state clearly their preference to live in equality and harmony in UNITED ETHIOPIA based on true federalisim. This choice of the majority adhers to the principles of International Bodies. It also a mirror reflection of the current US policy whose president’s motto is EQUALITY and JUSTICE.
    These are the two opposing ideologies and hence the only root of the conflict. The international community see the right from the wrong and advice all parties to resolve their diffrence in a peace full, over seen, fair election. I don’t think this is some thing to regret about. Mr. Foreign Affair, instead do the right thing and tell atocrate #abiy to heed the call of the world.

    Article also states
    Mr. Blinken also asked that…But it added the government had a duty to hold the nation together in the face of “treasonous and divisive forces.”

    Mr. Foreign Affairs, let me clarify the meaning of the above to you.
    As we and the world know very well, the over majority of Ethiopians support the federalism system. I mean all the long marginalized people – the Tigre, Oromo, Somali- Ethiopians, Afars and the Southern People – are all federalists. You very well know what the result of a free election ( with international on-lookers ) will be – a landslide win for the majority of Ethiopians. And that is what is gonna happen exactly. All friends of Ethiopia will have observers in the coming election. If you think the election will happen in your usual blackout scenario, you must be dreaming. Free unhindered, observed election is the basis of democracy and it is what the International Community intends to realize. If you plane to depend on your subservient puppet regional administrators to force the people ( at gun point ) to vote for your agenda, you must be hallucinating. People have woken up to the schemes of the likes of MUSTAFE – the #abiy puppet Somali – Region so called President: Hear this fools’ trick. Few weeks ago, Mustafe gathered the internally displaced poor somali people ( in the outskirts of Jigjiga ) and told them that there will be a rally ( tomorrow ) against the #amara who want to take their land ( a genuine concern of the people ) and when they gathered in the morning handed them posters reading LONG LIFE ABIY stuff and marched them at gun-point through the main street of the city. Mustafe kidded #abiy by presenting these tricked and forced poor people as a supporters of him! This is a trick copied from above. #abiy himself the preceeding day gathered in Addis Ababa #amara people clad in #oromo clothing and displaying #oromo cultural artifacts and claimed that they are his #oromo peeple supporting him! Expatriates in Addis must have laughed at this. I am sure the like of this stupid drama must have been held in all other regions too.

    Another good example of the reality of the situation in Ethiopia is this. The day before yesterday was a holiday commemorating ADWA – the day Ethiopia won over fascist Italy. Instead of the usual commemoration at one place there were two different sites in Addis Ababa each with its own historical perspective of what ADWA represents for them – a good reflection of the difference of the historical narrative of the country. In another words Oromo commemorated ADWA according to their Oromia historical narrative and for the first time refused to accept and participate the government – #amara – sponsored false narrative version!. All expatriates in Addis Ababa yesterday saw this country as the divided it is!

    Coming back to the main point the ‘ treasonous and divisive force Mr. Blinken is talking about is #abiy and his puppeteers – the #amara elites. They are the ones disintegrating the unity of Ethiopia. The rest, the majority of Ethiopians, are the vanguards of Ethiopian Unity. Assigning the guardian-ship of Ethiopian Unity to its disintegrators here is a political ruse to prevent autocrate #abiy from doing more damage to the country and its innocent people. Nothing more. Mr. Foreign Affair, if you are in level with your position, I am sure you already understood the true meaning of the ruse – a bat on the head of a bad boy!

    A Wide awake ethiopian from the long marginalized people.

    TAGS

    #tigray #ethiopia #tplf #abiyahmed #tesfagiorgis #biden #eu #england #martinplaut #africa #usa #middleeast #addisstandard #eritereahub #ethiopiainsight #tigrepeople #amhara #somali-ethiopians

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