• Fri. Apr 16th, 2021

US calls for withdrawal of Eritrean forces in Ethiopia following investigation into massacre

His name got here a day after investigations by CNN and Amnesty International into the bloodbath of civilians in two separate assaults within the northern Tigray area late final yr.

Thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a navy operation in opposition to leaders within the Tigray area. CNN has beforehand reported that troopers from neighboring Eritrea have perpetuated most of the extrajudicial killings, assaults and human rights abuses within the Tigray area.

“The United States is gravely concerned by reported atrocities and the overall deteriorating situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia,” Blinken stated in a press release Saturday.

“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 organizations have reported in Tigray.” He added that “those responsible for them must be held accountable.”

Eyewitnesses instructed CNN {that a} group of Eritrean troopers opened fireplace on Maryam Dengelat church in Dengelat village, japanese Tigray, on November 30 whereas lots of of congregants have been celebrating mass. Dozens of individuals died over three days of mayhem, with troopers slaughtering native residents, displaced individuals and pilgrims, they stated.

Ethiopia responded to CNN’s request for remark with a press release that didn’t instantly tackle the assault in Dengelat. Eritrea has but to answer a CNN request for remark.

Amnesty International charged in a report Friday that Eritrean forces killed lots of of unarmed civilians within the metropolis of Axum in November by way of indiscriminate shelling and taking pictures and extrajudicial killings, in what the human rights group stated might quantity to against the law in opposition to humanity.

In his assertion, Blinken acknowledged the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s dedication to permit humanitarian support to the area, including: “The international community needs to work collectively to ensure that these commitments are realized.

“The speedy withdrawal of Eritrean forces and Amhara regional forces from Tigray are important first steps,” Blinken said, referring to forces from Ethiopia’s Amhara state, which neighbors Tigray. “They needs to be accompanied by unilateral declarations of cessation of hostilities by all events to the battle and a dedication to allow unhindered supply of help to these in Tigray.”

Blinken said the US was committed to working with the international community to achieve these goals and that the US Agency for International Development would send a disaster assistance response team to Ethiopia.

“We ask worldwide companions, particularly the African Union and regional companions, to work with us to deal with the disaster in Tigray, together with by way of motion on the UN and different related our bodies,” he added.

After seizing management of Tigray’s important cities in late November, Abiy declared victory and maintained that no civilians have been harmed within the offensive. Abiy has additionally denied that troopers from Eritrea crossed into Tigray to assist Ethiopian forces.

CNN’s Barbara Arvanitidis, Nima Elbagir, Bethlehem Feleke, Eliza Mackintosh, Gianluca Mezzofiore and Katie Polglase contributed to this report.

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