According to an internal United States government report obtained by the New York Times, NAIROBI, Kenya – Ethiopia officials and allied militia fighters are leading a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing in Tigre, a war-torn region in northern Ethiopia.
In a report written earlier this month, the documents state that the land of looted houses and uninhabited villages where tens of thousands of people are unaccounted for.
Combatants and officers from Ethiopia’s neighboring Amhara region, who entered the Tigray in support of Prime Minister Abi Ahmed, “are deliberately and efficiently homogenizing the Western Tigray through the organized use of force and intimidation,” the report Having said.
“Entire villages were badly damaged or completely erased,” the report said.
In a second report published on Friday, Amnesty International said that Eritrean soldiers had Hundreds of Tiger citizens were systematically killed Shooting some of them on the streets, in the ancient city of Axum, over a period of 10 days in November.
The deteriorating situation in Tigray – where Mr. Abi, the winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, Launched an astonishing military invasion In November – the first major examination of the Biden administration is scheduled to take place in Africa. Former President Donald J. Trump paid very little attention to the continent and never saw it, but President Joseph R. Biden promises a more hectic approach.
In a conversation with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, Mr. Biden brought out the Tigray crisis. The two leaders discussed “the deteriorating human and human rights crisis in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and the need to prevent further loss of life and ensure human access”. A White House statement said.
But thus far Mr. Biden and other US officials have been reluctant to openly criticize Mr. Abi’s conduct of the war, while European leaders and United Nations officials have been increasingly concerned by reports of widespread atrocities.
On Tuesday, an EU envoy, Finland’s foreign minister, Pakke Havisto, told reporters that the situation in Tigray was “very out of control” after returning from a fact-finding trip to Ethiopia and Sudan. The block suspended $ 110 million for aid to Ethiopia at the start of the conflict, and last month the head of the European Union’s foreign policy, Josep Borel, Warned of possible war crimes in Tigray And said the crisis was “destabilizing” the entire region.
Ethiopia regularly dismisses critics of its campaign in Tigray as heaps of its enemies in Tigray. But on Friday afternoon, in response to Amnesty International’s report, Mr Abi’s office said it was ready to cooperate in an international investigation of the atrocities in Tigray. The government said in a statement, “reiterated its commitment to enable a stable and peaceful area.”
Mr Abi’s office also claimed that Ethiopia had “unfit” access to international aid groups in Tigre – unlike UN officials, who estimate that only 20 per cent of aid groups are being held due to government-imposed sanctions. The area is accessible.
The new US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, Talked to mr ahmed The State Department called on 4 February and urged them to allow humanitarian access to Tigray.
It is time for the United States to immediately focus on the crisis in Tigray, before more atrocities are committed and humanitarian crises, said Alex de Waal, an expert on the Horn of Africa at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Go to the famine
He said, “Political leadership is needed at the highest level at the political level and this means that”.
When the United States assumed the chair of the United Nations Security Council in March, Mr. de Waal said, it must withdraw from a catastrophic conflict to use that situation to bring international pressure to bear combative conflicts .
Mr Abi launched the Tigray campaign on 4 November, following tensions with the regional ruling party Tigray People’s Liberal Front Ruled Ethiopia with tight grip Almost three decades until Mr. Abi came to power in 2018.
But the war’s worst abuses have been blamed not on the Ethiopian army or the TPLF – whose armed branch is now known as the Tigray Defense Forces – but on the irregular and undeclared forces that rallied behind Mr. Abi’s military campaign. .
The first report came within weeks of the start of the conflict that Eritrea-Ethiopia’s rival rival was silent until the two countries reached a peace deal in 2018. Crossed over To assist Mr. Abi’s exaggerated Confederate forces.
Amhara’s ethnic fighters in the Western Tigre – a region with a long rivalry with the Tigre – help Mr. Abi capture the region, in a flood.
It is now Eritrean and Amhara combatants who face the most serious charges, including rape, robbery, and genocide, which experts say may constitute war crimes.
The US government report about the situation in the Western Tigre, an area now largely controlled by the Amhara militia, documents in vivid terms what it described as a blatant campaign to exclude the ethnic Tigrayan population under the guise of war Does.
The report notes how ethnic Tigrens were attacked and their homes burned and burnt down in many cities. Some had escaped into the bush; Others crossed illegally In sudan The report states that still others were rounded up and forcibly transferred to other parts of the Tigre.
In contrast, cities with a majority Amharan population were endowed with bustling shops, bars and restaurants, the report noted.
The US report is not the first accusation of ethnic cleansing since the Tigre crisis. But it does highlight how US officials are quietly documenting those abuses, and reporting them to senior officials in Washington.
The mass starving audience is also driving a sense of urgency on Tigray. At least 4.5 million people in the region are in urgent need of food aid, According to the Tigray Emergency Coordination Center, Which is run by the federal government of Ethiopia. Ethiopian officials say some people have already died.
A document from the regional government of Tigray obtained on February 2 and by The Times notes that 21 people died in the East Tigray district of Gulmokheda. Such numbers could be the tip of the iceberg, aid officials warned.
“Today it may be one, two or three, but you know that after a month it means thousands,” Abra Tola, president of the Ethiopia Red Cross Society, told reporters earlier this month. “After two months it will be thousands.”
However, political outrage over Tigre, particularly among European lawmakers, is being filled by a rising tide of accounts of human rights abuses.
Amnesty International reported on Friday that Eritrean soldiers searched house-to-house in Exum in November, shooting civilians in the street and conducting extraordinary incidents of men and boys. When the shooting stopped, residents trying to remove the bodies from the road were fired, the report states.
Amnesty said that the massacre was a crime against humanity. The information minister of Eritrea, Yemen G. Meskel, rejected the report, calling it “transparently unprofessional”.
Axum, a city of ancient ruins and churches, holds great significance for followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox faith. When Eritrean soldiers trusted and allowed the corpses to be collected, hundreds of people were gathered in churches, including the Church of St. Mary of Zion, where many Ethiopians believe the Ark of the Covenant – along with Tenn. Asked to keep carved tablets. Commandments are kept.
Simon Marks contributed reporting from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.