SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 17 September 2021, Friday |

U.S. urges immediate talks over Ethiopia conflict as reported abuse grows

The United States is seriously concerned about fighting in parts of Ethiopia, the U.S. State Department said on Friday, urging the Ethiopian government and rebellious forces from the Tigray region to start immediate talks to address the dispute.

“We urge the Ethiopian government and TPLF to enter at once into negotiations without preconditions toward a sustainable ceasefire,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement, using an acronym for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

Reports of continued human rights abuses and atrocities by parties to the conflict are deeply disturbing, including the reported attack on civilians in a village in the Amhara region this week, Price said.

Rebellious forces from the Tigray region killed 120 civilians over two days in a village in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, local officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

The Tigrayan forces later issued a statement rejecting what they called a “fabricated allegation” by the Amhara regional government and denying any involvement in the killing of civilians.

“We condemn all such abuses against civilians in the strongest possible terms and call on all parties to the conflict to respect human rights and comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law,” Price said.

Eritrea’s Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel said: “Eritrea categorically rejects these intermittent accusations. Scapegoating Eritrea is neither constructive, nor will it serve the interests of peace and stability in the (Horn of Africa) region.”