US Senate calls for an immediate withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray

Source: CNN

[Full text below]

The US Senate has unanimously passed a resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Ethiopia’s war-torn northern Tigray region, after a CNN investigation revealed that the soldiers were cutting off critical aid routes.

The resolution, sponsored by Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman James E. Risch and passed by the Senate on Thursday, called on Eritrea to “immediately and fully withdraw its military forces from Ethiopia” and condemned human rights violations committed by the Eritrean military.

It also urged US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to ensure that a “full, independent, international investigation into all reports of human rights violations, abuses, and atrocities” committed in the course of the conflict is carried out and that those responsible be held accountable. Blinken called for such a probe on February 27, a day after investigations by CNN and Amnesty International into two separate massacres.

Thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed in Tigray since November, when Abiy launched a major military operation against the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), sending in national troops and fighters from Ethiopia’s Amhara region.

CNN has previously reported that soldiers from neighboring Eritrea had crossed into Tigray and perpetrated extrajudicial killingsmassacressexual violence and other human rights abuses.

The renewed drive for action by US lawmakers was prompted by CNN’s investigation, which revealed Eritrean soldiers were manning checkpoints in Tigray, obstructing and occupying key humanitarian aid routes, roaming the halls of one of the region’s few operating hospitals and threatening medical staff.

On May 12, Von Batten-Montague-York, the Washington, DC-based advocacy group that led the push for the resolution, said on Twitter that CNN’s report “confirms what we have briefed members of Congress: War crimes are being committed against civilians in Tigray.”

“We are doubling our push for passage of S.Res.97 and sanctions against Ethiopian and Eritrean officials guilty of crimes against civilians in Tigray,” the group added.

Despite pressure from the US, there has been no sign that Eritrean forces plan to exit the border region anytime soon.

The Senate on Thursday called on the Biden administration to “conduct and impose strict accountability measures on those found responsible” of human rights violations, opening the door for potential US sanctions.

Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Gregory Meeks, the New York Democrat who chairs the committee, have been leading a continued push for the Biden administration to “urgently use all available tools, including sanctions and other restrictive measures, to hold all perpetrators accountable and bring an end to this conflict.”

McCaul told CNN on Thursday that “there have been ample, credible reports from human rights groups and journalists on the continuing presence of Eritrean troops, and reports that have implicated them, and other armed actors, in human rights abuses, rape and other atrocities.

“It is clear that the Government of Ethiopia and the Government of Eritrea have not upheld their public commitment to withdraw Eritrean forces out of Tigray. Now we have this on-camera evidence from CNN.”

He argued that the “Biden administration needs to take action now to demonstrate we are serious when we demand accountability for atrocities.”


US Senate Resolution

That the Senate—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amend the title so as to read: “A resolution calling on the Government of Ethiopia, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, and other belligerents in the conflict in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia to cease all hostilities, protect human rights, allow unfettered humanitarian access, and cooperate with independent investigations of credible atrocity allegations.”.

3 comments

  1. Nothing diffrent about this. USA have been saying this for almost last six months and yet innocents are dying by the 100’s/day.
    These guys – abiy and isias – are not heeding anyone. That is clear to you.
    Take action now!

  2. YES ! WE ARE PART OF THE WORLD WITH ALL ITS RIGHTS AND DUTIES. WE ARE NOT CRYING ALONE. THE WORLD POWERS AND COMMUNITY ARE WITH US AND THE WHOLE CRYING EAST AFRICA.

  3. When you befriend a dictator you should be ready to admit the consequences that comes with it.
    The Eriterian president Mr. Afewokie was a lone star and now he got a new friend the Ethiopian PM Dr. Abyi when sanction takes place he only can shuttle from Addis to Asmera.
    That is the prize of befriending a dictator then he will learn the lesson although it is too late now.
    When the poor farmers,mother’s, children,father’s suffer their prayers are going to answered when there are always justice,respect for humanity,for the voiceless and powerless and helpless.
    I am not encouraging the interfere of the west on Ethiopia,but there is a prize to be paid when you let your citizens to be raped, violated,punished by depriving aide help to be enrich the Eriterian soldiers
    God have mercy and protect Ethiopia.
    Thanks!
    Muchfun A Kassa.
    Canada.

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