New White House Statement on Ethiopia: America Concerned

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The White House said on Thursday that National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan had expressed US concerns about the crisis in Ethiopias Tigray region during a phone call with Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demiki Mekonnen.

The White House added that the two “discussed critical steps to address the crisis, including expanding humanitarian access, cessation of hostilities, the departure of foreign forces, and independent investigations into atrocities and human rights violations.”

The White House said Sullivan and Mekonnen also discussed the importance of continuing regional dialogue to resolve disputes over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

A spokesman for the US State Department, Ned Price, said that the United States was “extremely concerned” about the violence in the Tigray region in Ethiopia and was studying reports of massacres there.

The African Studies Unit of the Dialogue Forum for Development and Human Rights issued a report entitled Crimes against Humanity in Tigray Region, Ethiopia.

The report confirmed that during the month of November 2020, the Ethiopian Prime Minister ordered the implementation of a military operation against Tigray, which included intense and indiscriminate aerial bombardment of the Ethiopian army in the cities of Mekele, Hamira and Adigrat, and missile attacks in the Amhara region.

The report stated that this resulted in the killing of at least 83 civilians and the displacement of thousands, followed by the storming of the Eritrean forces, which caused humanitarian violations and abuses, including massacres in the cities of Aksum and Dingilat in central Tigray, and the Eritrean army engaged in widespread looting of civilian property and extrajudicial executions, Eritrean forces killed hundreds of civilians in the city of Axum, as well as opened fire in the streets and raided homes.

The report emphasized that it is impossible to prove an accurate count of the number of dead, but it is estimated that more than 200 civilians were killed on 28 and 29 November, and the village of Dingulat, north of Mekeli, witnessed another massacre at the same time, in which 164 civilians were killed, in addition to physical and mental injuries. , Cases of gender-based violence, and reports of 136 cases of rape in the hospitals of the capital of the Tigray region.

The report stated that some women were forced by military personnel to have sex with them, and girls and women in a number of refugee camps were subjected to sexual violence, according to the statements of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

The report also revealed that the acts of genocide forced more than 80,000 Ethiopians to flee to Sudan for fear of the brutality of the Ethiopian army and its militias that had used the blood of children and committed rape and assaults against defenseless women.

The report continued that more than 50,000 people, almost half of them children, to Sudan, and 2,500 refugees were transferred from the border to Umm Rakuba camp in eastern Sudan, and nearly 6000 people arrived at the Tonideba camp in the Sudanese state of Gedaref, according to the UNHCR. United Nations for Refugees.

The report stated that there is a large-scale humanitarian crisis that began to become evident as thousands of refugees continue to flee the genocide in the Ethiopian Tigray region on a daily basis, in search of safety in neighboring eastern Sudan, and that the fighting, if it continues, will not stop at the borders of the Tigray State in the north of the country, but its effects may include Eritrea. Sudan and Somalia, and may even include the Arab world and the eastern Mediterranean region.

The report stated that those conflicts and wars have led to the displacement of more than 5,000 refugees in and around the Shire region, who live in difficult conditions and are forced to sleep in the open without water or food.
With regard to the efforts of the United Nations, the report stated that it has contributed to the provision of aid to the displaced from the Tigray region in the camps of Mai Eini and Ada Harush, as it provided water to 280,000 people, 35,000 refugees receive food aid, and more than 65,000 displaced people have received shelter and supplies. Necessary household.

The report noted that recently it provided information to the United Nations stating that security forces killed eight protesters during February 2021 in Adigrat, Mukli, Shire and Walker, and that fighting between the federal forces of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and the forces of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray, the former ruling party in the region, caused Thousands of people killed and displaced.
The report stated that during the month of December 2020, a massacre occurred during a religious ceremony in the town of Dinglat, when a group of Eritrean soldiers opened fire on the church during mass, killing priests, entire families and a group of more than 20 students at Sunday School.

The report indicated that in Akum, 750 innocent people were killed on the grounds of Saint Mary’s Church, as well as looting all food sources, burning crops in fields, plundering public and private property, destroying monasteries, churches, mosques, hospitals and universities, storming Eritrean refugee camps, killing and kidnapping refugees, and other crimes.

With regard to civilian casualties, the report indicated that these military operations resulted in massive damage to the infrastructure. The region’s infrastructure was destroyed, basic water and electricity supplies were cut off, and the damage affected service facilities and public institutions, most notably the historical city of Axum airport, which stopped the airport service. In addition, the military operations restricted the movement of food, medical supplies, and other essential goods.

The report stated that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed claimed many times after the Ethiopian army entered the capital of Tigray that not a single civilian was injured or killed by artillery shelling or bombings, while doctors revealed the opposite, as they wrote reports that many people were killed and more wounded.

According to the report, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called for an “objective and independent investigation” to be opened in the Ethiopian Tigray region, after “proving the occurrence of serious violations that may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

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