The United States has said there is no military solution to the conflict in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, and the parties to the conflict must negotiate.
“We urge the Ethiopian government and TPLF to enter at once into negotiations without preconditions toward a sustainable ceasefire,” the US State Department said in a statement on Friday.
This is in agreement with with the UN Secretary-General and African Union leaders.
The US also said it remains gravely concerned by ongoing conflict in multiple regions of Ethiopia, and the reports of continued human rights abuses and atrocities by the Ethiopian, Eritrean, Amhara regional and irregular forces, the TPLF and other armed groups, including the reported attack on civilians in one village in Amhara region this week, are deeply disturbing.
“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,” the statement added.
The American government added that the increasing reports of human rights abuses underscore the urgency of independent and credible international investigations.
“It is essential that the Ethiopian government and all other parties to the conflict provide and facilitate the access necessary for such investigations,” the statement added.
“We look forward to an update from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the 48 session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in Tigray and to the release of the joint investigation report of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the earliest possible opportunity”.
It also called for full cooperation with the Commission of Inquiry of the AU Commission on Human and People’s Rights and the establishment of transparent, independent mechanisms to hold those responsible for human rights abuses to account is critical to political reconciliation and peace in Ethiopia.
Late last month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pushed for an immediate ceasefire and unrestricted aid access in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, where he said millions of people needed help and women had suffered “unspeakable violence.”
“It is time for all parties to recognize that there is no military solution, and it is vital to preserve the unity and stability of Ethiopia which is critical to the region and beyond,” Guterres told reporters in New York.
The Tigray conflict has spread into two neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara, displacing about 250,000 more people and raising international concerns about a wider destabilisation of Ethiopia.
US is sustaining pressure at a time Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is seeking regional and international support.