US Urges Ethiopia to Take ‘Concrete Steps’ to Protect Civilians in Tigray

ADDIS ABABA – The US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken urged the Ethiopian government to end hostilities and take concrete steps to protect civilians, including refugees, in Tigray Region.

Blinken spoke with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday “to emphasize the United States’ concern about the humanitarian and human rights crisis” in the Tigray regional State, according to his office.

The topics of the discussion between Abiy and Blinken were almost similar to what is stated in a statement the US government issued late last week regarding the situation in Tigray.

These include for the government of Ethiopia to “facilitate independent, international, and credible investigations into reported human rights abuses and violations and to hold those responsible accountable,” said Ned Price, spokesperson of Secretary of states.

Price said the US Secretary Blinken also pressed for the immediate end to hostilities and the withdrawal of “outside forces” from Tigray including Amhara regional security forces.

Ethiopia already rejected the call from the United States for the Ethiopian federal government to pull forces out of Tigray in a statement its foreign ministry issued on Sunday.

It was “regrettable” that the US had attempted “to make pronouncements on Ethiopia’s internal affairs and specifically, the reference to the Amhara regional forces redeployment”, according to foreign ministry.

“It should be clear that such matters are the sole responsibility of the Ethiopian government, which as a sovereign nation, is responsible to deploy the necessary security structures and means available in ensuring the rule of law within all corners of its borders,” it said.