U.S. strongly condemns bloodshed in Tigray region, orders withdrawal of Eritrean troops

The United States demands immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces from the Tigray region | USA Embassy

The United States has expressed deep concern over disturbing reports of ethnic killings, sexual assaults and forced displacement in the Tigray region at the hands of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces.

“The United States is gravely concerned by reported atrocities and the overall deteriorating situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia,” the Biden-Harris administration said in a statement.

“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.”

Washington called on the Ethiopian authorities to put an immediate end to hostilities and engage in meaningful dialogue with the TPLF leadership.

“We are also deeply concerned by the worsening humanitarian crisis. The United States has repeatedly engaged the Ethiopian government on the importance of ending the violence, ensuring unhindered humanitarian access to Tigray, and allowing a full, independent, international investigation into all reports of human rights violations, abuses, and atrocities. Those responsible for them must be held accountable.”

“The United States acknowledges the February 26 statements from the Ethiopian Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs promising unhindered humanitarian access, welcoming international support for investigations into human rights violations and abuses, and committing to full accountability. The international community needs to work collectively to ensure that these commitments are realized.”

The United States demanded the immediate withdrawal of the Eritrean forces that have participated in the ongoing military operations in the Tigray region since the onset of the conflict on November 4, 2021.

“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.”

“We ask international partners, especially the African Union and regional partners, to work with us to address the crisis in Tigray, including through action at the UN and other relevant bodies. The United States remains committed to building an enduring partnership with the Ethiopian people.”

U.S. orders ‘immediate withdrawal’ of Eritrean troops from Tigray region

Official Emblem of the United States (Photo: US)

Dec 11, 2020 (Thessherald)–After receiving credible reports on the ground, the United States has ordered the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces from the Tigray region.

“This is a grave development,” a U.S. State Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Last month, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front launched a series of attacks on the Eritrean capital Asmara, blowing up an airport and other facilities –after accusing Eritrea of having involved in the Ethiopian conflict.

The U.S. said it’s also aware of reports of human rights violations in the region, and called for an independent investigation of the matter.

“All parties must respect human rights and international humanitarian law,” the Sate Department said.

Federal government blocks refugees from seeking safety in Addis Ababa.

Today, the federal government ordered the immediate return of Eritrean refugees to their camps in the Tigray region, despite security concerns, a move the United Nations described as “unacceptable”.

“A large number of misinformed Eritrean refugees are moving out in an irregular manner particularly from Mai-Ayni and Adi-Harush refugee camps to Addis Ababa. Such an unregulated movement of the refugees with high dependence on aid will create difficulties in ensuring their safety, security, dignity, and in providing a coordinated protection and assistance. Given the priority the government gives to humanitarian assistance, the refugees were kept in a dignified manner and sheltered and nurtured by the government,” The Ethiopian State of Emergency Task-Force said on Friday.

Claiming that, “Ethiopia has a very long, and cherished history of hospitality and generosity to people who are forcibly displaced due to man-made and natural calamities.”

“The Government is working tirelessly to fully reactivate and continue provision of critical lifesaving services to the refugees as well as to ensure a safe and secured operating environment for frontline responders.

“As a result of which transportation of food to the camps is underway among other things. At this point in time, the areas in Tigray region in which the Eritrean refugee camps are situated are stable given that they are under the full control of the Federal Government.

“With that understanding, therefore, the Government is safely returning those refugees to their respective camps where they can have access to service delivery systems, and more importantly they can live lawfully and peacefully with the communities that host them.”

Breaking: TPLF begins large-scale airstrikes in Eritrea, destroys buildings

Nov 27, 2020 (Thessherald)–Latest reports from Eritrea indicate that the TPLF has fired several rockets this evening into neighboring Eritrea and destroyed civilian buildings, the Eritrean Press confirmed a few minutes ago.

“The TPLF junta has fired numerous rockets at several Eritrean cities tonight in the last desperate attempt to internationalised the war inside Ethiopia,” the Eritrean Press said in a statement.

“EP can confirm that the rockets in Asmara have landed near busy residential areas, but no casualties are recorded. Eritrean Press will update you when more information reaches us.”

On Friday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed rebuffed calls by the African Union for dialogue and pledged to continue to enforce military operations until he controls the capital, Mekele, which is currently inhabited by thousands of civilians.

This is a developing #story, check back in a few minutes for more updates!

Russia calls for an immediate end to armed conflict in Ethiopia

Russian President Putin on a telephone call | Photo: Via Facebook

November 16, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed grave concern and urged the Ethiopian federal government and the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front to end the ongoing military operations in the Tigray region and enter into a meaningful dialogue.

“We are calling on all the sides to exercise restraint … We hope that all the problems will be settled, taking into consideration the need to maintain stability, territorial integrity and unity of Ethiopia, this multinational and multiconfessional country … We assume that the central authorities, the government in Addis Ababa, will find proper methods to work with different regions, including Tigray, to secure civilian peace in the country,” said Bogdanov Mikhail Leonidovich, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation


The Russian government stressed the need to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table as the only viable solution to end the armed conflict in Ethiopia.

“Russia has always advocated stability in Ethiopia,” the diplomat pointed out.

“Moscow maintains contact with the Ethiopian authorities, including the ambassador in Russia,” Bogdanov added.

At the start of November, the Ethiopian government accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of attacking a federal military base and launched an offensive in the Tigray Region.

Last week, the Ethiopian Parliament approved the establishment of a provisional government in Tigray.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali said on Twitter that law enforcement operations in Tigray were proceeding as planned and that they would cease only when the “criminal junta” is disarmed.

The TPLF has been in opposition to the incumbent government. In September, it asked the cabinet to hold local elections, earlier postponed over COVID-19. After being rejected, the party organised elections on its own which the central government never recognised as legitimate.

Breaking: TPLF launches missiles at Eritrea, blows up airport

Ethiopia S-75 Mobile Missile Batteries |Photo: Gettyimages

November 15, 2020 (Thessherald)–Three rockets were fired Saturday at the Eritrean capital, Asmara, diplomats said, hours after the leaders of Ethiopia’s Tigray region warned it might attack.

The rockets appeared to be aimed at the capital’s airport. Information about damage or deaths was not available, and Tigray regional officials did not respond to requests for comment.

On Tuesday, Debretsion Gebremichael, the leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), accused Eritrea of sending troops across the border in support of Ethiopian government forces, which Eritrea’s Foreign Minister Osman Saleh Mohammed denied, telling Reuters: “We are not part of the conflict.”

Eritrea has long been at odds with the TPLF, experts said, and they fear it could be drawn into the conflict between the TPLF and Ethiopia’s federal government.

Airports targeted

Late Friday, Tigray fired rockets at two airports in the nearby Amhara region, the Ethiopian and Tigray regional governments said.

In a statement on Tigray TV, the Tigray regional government said attacks would continue “unless the attacks against us stop.”

The federal government confirmed the attacks, saying in a statement, “A rocket was fired towards Bahir Dar & Gondar cities. As a result, the airport areas have sustained damages.”

The Ethiopian army has been battling local forces in the neighboring northern Tigray region for more than a week. Hundreds have been killed since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent the national defense force into Tigray November 4, after accusing local forces there of attacking a military base.

More than 14,500 Ethiopians have fled to Sudan, and the U.N. refugee agency says more people are on their way.
On Friday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed alarm at the rapidly deteriorating situation in Tigray.

Her spokesman, Rupert Colville, said Bachelet was particularly disturbed by an Amnesty International report of alleged mass killings in the town of Mai-Kadra in southwest Tigray.

Grisly deaths

Amnesty said photographs and videos of the scene indicated hundreds of people had been stabbed or hacked to death. It said the victims appeared to have been day laborers, who were not involved in military operations.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front denied that scores or hundreds of people had been “hacked to death” in Mai-Kadra.

Colville said the high commissioner was fearful of the consequences if Tigray and Ethiopia failed to heed her warning.

If fighting continues, he said, Bachelet feared the conflict could easily spill across borders, potentially destabilizing parts of East Africa.

Originally published by VOA

S. Sudan’s diplomat collapses and dies while drawing cash from Bank

A hearse carrying the body of South Sudan Ambassador to Eritrea Michael Nyang leaves Kencom House in Nairobi on October 22,2020. Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

Oct 23, 2020 (Thessherald)–South Sudan ambassador to Eritrea Michael Nyang on Thursday collapsed and died inside Kenya Commercial Bank’s Moi Avenue Advantage Centre at Kencom building in Nairobi.

The diplomat was on a mission to withdraw some cash before developing complications. He died on the spot.

Efforts by medics on call by the bank to resuscitate him did not bear fruits as the ambassador lost his life some minutes to 1pm.

South Sudan Ambassador to Kenya Chol Ajongo confirmed the death but refused to divulge more details until the family of the diplomat is made aware of the incident.

“I can confirm that we have lost one of our colleagues. He died this afternoon in Nairobi. I cannot share any further information for now until we inform the family and a postmortem is done,” Mr Ajongo told the Nation.

Nairobi Police Commander Rashid Yakub confirmed the death of the diplomat, saying the ambassador went to withdraw money from the VIP section of the bank before developing health complications.

“He went to withdraw money but he told the teller that he was not feeling well before he collapsed. Doctors tried to attend to him but he unfortunately passed on at around 12.30pm,” said Mr Yakub, adding that samples have been taken for Covid-19 testing, though the doctors suspect a heart attack.

The diplomat’s family stays in Kenya and a worker at the bank, who spoke to the Nation said he was a regular customer.

The body later left aboard a Lee Funeral Home hearse some minutes to 4pm accompanied by his family and a driver.

Later, the entrance used by the diplomat was fumigated by a health officer who arrived at the bank in full Covid-19 protective gear. A statement by Kenya Commercial Bank said they will temporarily close the banking hall and Advantage Centre where the diplomat died.

Originally posted by The Nation