The Government of Ethiopia has rejected the criticism of the United States on the allegations of atrocities in the framework of the offensive in the Tigray region (north) and its request on the withdrawal of the allied forces. And the Government of Ethiopia has stressed that “these matters are the sole responsibility” of the authorities of the African country.
The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry has stressed in a statement that “an attempt by the United States to make pronouncements on Ethiopia’s internal affairs and specifically the reference to the deployment of Amhara regional forces (…) is regrettable.”
“It should be clear that these matters are the sole responsibility of the Government of Ethiopia, which, as a sovereign nation, is responsible for deploying the necessary security structures and available means to ensure that the law is upheld at all points within its borders.”
“The Federal Government is mandated by the Constitution to ensure peace and security against all threats to the constitutional order in the country. It was in the spirit of its responsibility and to hold the nation together in the face of treacherous and divisive forces that the Government launched the operations in Tigray,” he has argued.
Thus, he stressed that the Executive “has made clear” its position on “human rights abuses and crimes allegedly committed in the Tigray region” and added that it is “fully committed” to carrying out investigations and bringing to justice those responsible.
“In this regard, the government has not only applauded the support of international human rights experts, but has also pointed to the possibility of collaboration in joint investigations with relevant human rights bodies,” he said.
“Ethiopia has an unwavering commitment to honor its international responsibilities, despite the destabilizing nature of the challenges caused by the high treason of the criminal gang,” the Ministry said, referring to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the target of the offensive.
Thus, the Ministry said that “honoring international obligations and responsibilities should not be considered by any entity as an invitation to dictate on the internal affairs of a sovereign nation”.
On the other hand, it has stressed that the priority of the Government “has been and continues to be” to respond “effectively” to the humanitarian situation in the region of Tigray, while assuring that it “continues to collaborate and coordinate its actions with international partners to reach all people in need”.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday expressed his “concern” over “reports of atrocities in the Tigray region” and called for the “immediate withdrawal” of both the Eritrean Army and the so-called special forces from the Amhara region as “the first essential step” to de-escalate the conflict.
Amnesty International on Friday accused Eritrean forces of killing more than 200 civilians during their joint operation with the Ethiopian army to seize the northern town of Axum during Ethiopia’s campaign against the TPLF.
The offensive was launched on November 4 on the orders of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in response to an attack by the TPLF – then ruling Tigray – on an army base in the regional capital, Mekelle, which resulted in the death of a large number of Ethiopian military personnel.