US, Ireland sustain pressure on Ethiopia over Tigray crisis

Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed


The US and Ireland have sustained pressure on the federal government of Ethiopia to address the crisis in Tigray region.

In a phone call with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday, March 2, Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed the United States’ concern about the humanitarian and human rights crisis in Tigray.

“Noting the growing number of credible reports of atrocities and human rights violations and abuses, the Secretary urged the Ethiopian government to take immediate, concrete steps to protect civilians, including refugees, and to prevent further violence,” a readout released by the Department of State said.

According to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, of particular concern is the need for health and nutrition interventions.

‘The health and nutrition needs are significant in Tunaydbah camp,” the Health and Nutrition Adviser for the Sudan programme said.

‘Communicable diseases such as malaria, respiratory illnesses, and diarrhoea are rife in the camp, and mental health needs will continue to grow as refugees become more depressed, stressed, and anxious about their current situation.’

Secretary Blinken also pressed for the immediate end to hostilities and the withdrawal of outside forces from Tigray, including Amhara regional security forces and Eritrean troops.

He asked that the government of Ethiopia works with the international community to facilitate independent, international, and credible investigations into reported human rights abuses and violations and to hold those responsible accountable.

Secretary Blinken acknowledged Ethiopia’s recent announcement of full and unhindered humanitarian access in Tigray but stressed the need for it to honor its commitments around access.

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He said the US remains ready to assist in resolving the conflict, and highlighted its commitment to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations throughout Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, Ireland has called for a further discussion on the Tigray crisis at the UNSC.

“More progress is needed urgently on humanitarian access, with millions still cut off from aid. It is time for the Council to speak with one voice on this issue,” Irish Foreign ministry said on March 2.

The Ireland mission at the UN said the humanitarian crisis is of great concern as it confirmed that the discussion is expected to take place on Thursday.

“Reports of atrocities against civilians in Tigray are harrowing. Ireland condemns violations of international humanitarian and human rights law and supports an independent investigation of reported atrocities, including sexual violence,” the Ministry added.

Ethiopia is, however, pushing back over the international pressure citing interference in domestic affairs.

On March 1, a day after the US called on the African Union and international community to exert more pressure on the Horn of Africa country over Tigray crisis, Ethiopia government accused America of interfering with its internal affairs.

“… the attempt by the US to make pronouncements on Ethiopia’s internal affairs and specifically the reference to the Amhara regional forces redeployment is regrettable,” the statement by government Spokesman said.

“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 added.

Ethiopia fires back at US over Tigray statement, accuses it of interference in domestic affairs

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