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Reports of Mass Atrocities in Western Tigray


People are seen in front of clouds of black smoke from fires in the aftermath of an airstrike in Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. (File)

The United States reiterates its grave concern over continuing reports of ethnically-motivated atrocities committed by Amhara regional authorities in western Tigray, Ethiopia.

Reports of Mass Atrocities in Western Tigray
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The United States reiterates its grave concern over continuing reports of ethnically-motivated atrocities committed by Amhara regional authorities in western Tigray, Ethiopia. Many of these are documented in a recent joint report by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. “In particular,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price in a statement, “we are deeply troubled by the report’s finding that these acts amount to ethnic cleansing.”

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch’s report concluded that newly-appointed administrators in the Western Tigray zone, as well as regional officials and security forces from Ethiopia’s Amhara region, are responsible for a campaign of ethnic cleansing as well as crimes against humanity and war crimes, targeting Tigrayan civilians in Western Tigray since the conflict began in November 2020.

Spokesperson Price noted that “thousands of Ethiopians of Tigrayan ethnicity reportedly continue to be detained arbitrarily in life-threatening conditions in western Tigray. We urge the immediate release of any such remaining detainees and call on relevant authorities to grant international monitors access to all detention facilities.”

“It remains our firm position,” said Mr. Price, “that there must be credible investigations into and accountability for atrocities committed by any party to the conflict as part of any lasting solution to the crisis. We urge the Government of Ethiopia to cooperate with the UN Commission of Experts on Human Rights in Ethiopia.”

Continued reports of atrocities underscore the urgency of ending the military conflict. The United States supports the declarations of a cessation of hostilities by the government of Ethiopia and the Tigray regional authority and welcomes the news that they have been followed by initial convoys of life-saving assistance. In keeping with these declarations, the U.S. renews its call on all armed actors to renounce and end human rights abuses and violence against civilians.

The United States reiterates its call for all foreign forces to withdraw from Ethiopia as well as for the regional state authorities to remove their security forces from neighboring regions.

Spokesperson Price urged “all parties to take necessary steps to ensure the cessation of hostilities, unhindered and sustained humanitarian access, transparent investigations into human rights abuses and violations by all actors, and a negotiated resolution to the conflict in Ethiopia.”

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