US Continues Non-Humanitarian ‘Assistance Pause’ to Pressure Ethiopia to End Tigray Conflict

“The fighting must come to an end.  There must be humanitarian access, which has been a problem,” the State Department’s acting Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Robert Godec, told VOA on Monday during a briefing by phone.

“We need the human rights abuses and atrocities to stop.  We need the Eritreans and the Amhara [militia] to leave.  And we need, really, an end to this conflict,”

U.S. sees no sign of Eritrean withdrawal from Tigray, urges pullout

WASHINGTON, April 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. government has seen no evidence of a withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Ethiopia’s Tigray region despite Eritrea’s assurances that they would pull out, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price reiterated Washington’s call for the immediate departure of Eritrean forces from Tigray.

US raising alarm over ‘deteriorating’ humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region

“Humanitarians absolutely need unhindered access to populations in need, and we are concerned about the fact that there are populations that we haven’t yet been able to reach,” said Emily Dakin, the senior U.S. Agency for International Development official leading the U.S. response in Tigray.

More 500 rape cases have been reported, the United Nations said in late March, although the number is likely higher. The top health official in Tigray’s interim government told Reuters last week, “Women are being kept in sexual slavery.”

Reuters: U.S. will not resume assistance to Ethiopia for most security programs

The State Department on Friday said Washington has decided not to lift the pause in assistance to Ethiopia for most programs in the security sector, days after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken described acts in Tigray as ethnic cleansing.

The Hill: Fighting in Ethiopia threatens US security interests

It is a grave mistake to frame the Ethiopian conflict narrowly as a humanitarian and human rights problem. It is a regional crisis that threatens U.S. security interests. The United States must work, foremost with African countries, to stop the fighting before it is too late.

AA: Eritrean, Amhara forces must withdraw from Tigray: US

“We strongly condemn the killings, forced removals and displacements, sexual assaults, and other extremely serious human rights violations and abuses by several parties that multiple organizations have reported in Tigray,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

The top diplomat voiced deep concern about the worsening humanitarian crisis and said those responsible for the violence must be held accountable.

USA Today: ‘Gravely concerned’: Secretary of State Blinken condemns reported abuse in Ethiopia’s Tigray region

The US has condemned reported atrocities in Ethiopia’s conflict-hit northern region of Tigray, urging the African Union to help resolve the “deteriorating situation.”

State Department: Atrocities in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

The immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces and Amhara regional forces from Tigray are essential first steps. They should be accompanied by unilateral declarations of cessation of hostilities by all parties to the conflict and a commitment to permit unhindered delivery of assistance to those in Tigray. The United States is committed to working with the international community to achieve these goals. To that end, USAID will deploy a Disaster Assistance Response Team to Ethiopia to continue delivering life-saving assistance.