ADDIS ABABA (Somaliguardian) – US government said all of Eritrea’s troops should leave Ethiopia’s conflict-torn Tigray region “immediately, as both Eritrea and Ethiopia deny presence of Eritrean forces in the northern Ethiopian region.
The Associated Press news agency quoted US State Department spokesperson as saying “credible reports of looting, sexual violence, assaults in refugee camps and other human rights abuses” were committed in the region by Eritrean forces.
“There is also evidence of Eritrean soldiers forcibly returning Eritrean refugees from Tigray to Eritrea,” the spokesperson said.
The remarks by the US State Department official reflect on the new approach by the Biden administration toward the war raging in the northern Ethiopian region, which left thousands dead and forced tens of thousands to flee to neighboring Sudan.
The previous US administration under Donald Trump praised Eritrea for its “restraint” while troops sent by the Eritrean government to the region were helping the Ethiopian military and Amhara militias to capture the town of Mekelle, Tigray authorities’ seat of power.
Biden administration now calls for an independent and transparent investigation into alleged human rights abuses. “It remains unclear how many Eritrean soldiers are in Tigray, or precisely where,” the spokesperson’s statement reads.
The US official has not confirmed whether the administration addressed its demand directly to Eritrea’s government.
Both Eritrea and Ethiopia have not immediately commented on the new US demand, increasing pressure on the government of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to remove Eritrean forces from Tigray where clashes with TPLF rebels have recently renewed.
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