US says Eritrean forces should leave Tigray “immediately”

Source: Associated Press

By CARA ANNA

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The United States said all soldiers from Eritrea should leave Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region “immediately.”

A State Department spokesperson in an email to The Associated Press cited “credible reports of looting, sexual violence, assaults in refugee camps and other human rights abuses.”

“There is also evidence of Eritrean soldiers forcibly returning Eritrean refugees from Tigray to Eritrea,” the spokesperson said.

The statement reflects new pressure by the Biden administration on the government of Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country and the anchor of the Horn of Africa, and other combatants as the deadly fighting in Tigray nears the three-month mark.

The AP this week cited witnesses who fled the Tigray region as saying Eritrean soldiers were looting, going house-to-house killing young men and even acting as local authorities. The Eritreans have been fighting on the side of Ethiopian forces as they pursue the fugitive leaders of the Tigray region, though Ethiopia’s government has denied their presence.

The U.S. stance has shifted dramatically from the early days of the conflict when the Trump administration praised Eritrea for its “restraint.”

The new U.S. statement calls for an independent and transparent investigation into alleged abuses. “It remains unclear how many Eritrean soldiers are in Tigray, or precisely where,” it says.

It was not immediately clear whether the U.S. has addressed its demand directly to Eritrean officials.

Witnesses have estimated that the Eritrean soldiers number in the thousands. Eritrean officials have not responded to questions. The information minister for Eritrea, one of the world’s most secretive countries, this week tweeted that “the rabid defamation campaign against Eritrea is on the rise again.“

The U.S. also seeks an immediate stop to the fighting in Tigray and “full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access” to the region, which remains largely cut off from the outside world, with Ethiopian forces often accompanying aid.

“We are gravely concerned by credible reports that hundreds of thousands of people may starve to death if urgent humanitarian assistance is not mobilized immediately,” the statement says.

The U.S. adds that “dialogue is essential between the government and Tigrayans.” Ethiopia’s government has rejected dialogue with the former Tigray leaders, seeing them as illegitimate, and has appointed an interim administration.

The former Tigray leaders, in turn, objected to Ethiopia delaying a national election last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and considered Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s mandate over.

4 comments

  1. The USA demands Ethiopian troops should leave Ethiopia a but wants Egyptian troops in Sudan. That is why China will lead Africa. White people still think Africans are children. Not men like themselves with their own agenda. Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia are one. The Egyptian backed Tigrayan minority must be broken by force. They are less than 6% of the population but want to divide Ethiopia. The USA is a racist society where people still march in the 21st century to prove that black lives matter. The situation in Ethiopia is an AU affair. The US needs to sort out its own racist present and not use selective memory to hide its racist past.

    1. #china too is a human right upholder and will never ever ever assist you with your #genocide – the eradication of #tigrpeople from the of the earth; for that matter no one else in the whole world is gonna help you with the abhorable schemes iminating from your colonial-mentality; we are here to blow the whistle to the world for every single step you take !

      You are the pariah of the world ! Get that man!

    2. Go to hell man
      Ejibtians are a pround citizens the robot compromise their country with any foreign county. But you and your fathers are selling Ethiopia for foreigners. Course only power is your interst. A country is not your business. Anyway tigray will do every thing for its indipendence from know. Fuck ethio.

  2. #trump was using the best of diplomacy when he praised #eritrea for its restraint. Had he been the president today, I am sure, he would have taken the same steps #biden is taking right now.

    The giant democracy champion of the world – the #usa – has woken from its brief slumber caused by its short internal strive; Fedaralists – supporting peace and dialog – rejoice. This is the begining of President Biden’s inagural promise – equality and justice all over the world. Soon the unjust #genocide on our brotherns – #tigrepeople – will stop and we will be able to sit at a round-table and sort out our problems!!!

    I am sure #isias is pulling out his troops as I am writing right now – for his own sake. He understands clearly that he can’t wrestle with the giant of the world – the great #usa. After all #isas is not that dump!

    Happy day. To day is tbe begining of the shift of the needle for equality and justice all over the world; a huge win for all peace loving #federalist-ethiopians.

    VIVA EQUALITY AND PEACE, VIVA #biden, VIVA #usa, VIVA #eu, VIVA #england, VIVA all the peace loving International Community particularly the journalists like Mr. Plaut who made possible the on-going #genocide at #tigreregion be known all over the world!

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

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