ADDIS ABEBA – The United States said it strongly condemns the attack carried out by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) on the airport in Asmara, Eritrea.
Pundits said the rocket attack on November 14 was aimed at spreading the internal conflict in Ethiopia to the rest of the Horn of Africa.
“We are deeply concerned by this blatant attempt by the TPLF to cause regional instability by expanding its conflict with Ethiopian authorities to neighboring countries,” said Michael R. Pompeo, US Secretary of State, in a statement on Tuesday.
Pompeo has appreciated Eritrea’s restraint, which the State Department said helped prevent further spreading of the conflict.
The fighting, which started after TPLF forces carried out a deadly attack on military base hosting federal forces in Tigray region, is now entering its third week.
Apart from Asmara, the TPL carried out rocket attacks Gondar and Bahir Dar Cities of Ethiopia.
“We also continue to denounce the TPLF’s November 13 missile attacks on the Bahir Dar and Gondar airports in Ethiopia,” he added.
Pompeo has urged the TPLF and the Federal authorities to take steps to de-escalate the conflict, restore peace, and protect civilians.
Humanitarian workers should be given safe passage to provide assistance to vulnerable groups, according to the US Secretary of state.
“Civilians, including U.S. citizens, should be protected from harm and be provided with humanitarian assistance and safe passage out of the conflict zones,” he added.
Close to 30,000 people have crossed from Tigray into neighboring Sudan and many are believed to have been internally displaced.
The Federal army says it is advancing to Tigray’s state capital, Mekelle, and the historic city of Axum, after holding key areas on the same day.