The United States wants Eritrea and Ethiopia to withdraw their troops immediately from the Ethiopian region of Tigray. Minister of Foreign Affairs Blinken says in a statement he is “seriously concerned” about atrocities and crimes against humanity.
It also calls on the international community, and in particular the African Union, to intervene more strongly in the situation in Tigray. Among other things, there must be an independent investigation into human rights violations, says Blinken.
Villages wiped out
The secretary‘s statement comes a day after The New York Times newspaper reported a secret American government report. It states that the Ethiopian authorities, together with militias and Eritrean soldiers, are systematically guilty of ethnic cleansing.
All villages would have been wiped out, the inhabitants of which have disappeared. The report was prepared earlier this month. In early November, the Ethiopian army invaded Tigray, according to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, to put an end to an insurrection.
Border conflict with Eritrea
The region is the basis of the armed Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which has been in power in Ethiopia for nearly thirty years. Under the TPLF leadership, the country fought a bloody border war with the neighbouring country of Eritrea, bordering Tigray.
Prime Minister Abiy made peace with Eritrea after he came to power. It won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019. But the TPLF disagreed with peace, so tension in the border region never disappeared.
Since the invasion of Tigray, it has been unclear exactly what is happening in Tigray; the region is virtually inaccessible to aid workers and journalists. As a result, it is not known to what extent the Ethiopian authorities still have control over the area.
There are reports that Eritrea is gaining more and more territory, although that country denies being involved in the conflict at all.
Every now and then, a flard news comes out. For example, human rights organisation Amnesty International wrote on Friday, based on interviews with 41 witnesses and survivors, that Eritrean soldiers certainly killed hundreds of unarmed civilians in Tigray at the end of November.
Men and boys were allegedly executed on the streets and there are numerous reports of rape. Furthermore, the testimonies confirm statements of arbitrary shelling and looting, according to the Human Rights Organisation. There are also reports of mass graves.
the beginning of this month, the UN called the situation ‘extremely alarming’. According to the Ethiopian Red Cross, the humanitarian crisis in the region is worsening.
More and more people are dependent on emergency aid for food and about 2 million people would have been fleeing because of the violence.
Many Ethiopians have fled to neighbouring Sudan: