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Ethiopia says US war crime allegations ‘inflammatory’


Antony Blinken, who was in Ethiopia last week, had called for accountability for the horrors of the two-year war.

The government of Ethiopia has accused the United States of taking a “partisan” approach by claiming that its armed forces and Eritrean troops committed war crimes during the two-year-long conflict in Tigray.

“The US statement is inflammatory,” the State Department said in a statement Tuesday, a day after Washington accused all sides in the conflict of committing war crimes, but singled out Ethiopian, Eritrean and Amhara regional forces for crimes against humanity, without mentioning the armed forces. allegiance to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made his first visit to Ethiopia since a peace deal between the federal government and the Tigrayan rebels was signed in November 2022. On Monday, after returning to Washington, he issued a strong call for accountability.

Hundreds of thousands of people died in the conflict, with some estimates putting the death toll as high as 600,000. There were also reports of rape, massacres of civilians, forced deportations and ethnic cleansing.

Blinken said the State Department conducted a “careful assessment of the law and the facts” and concluded that war crimes were committed by federal troops from Ethiopia and its ally Eritrea, as well as by the TPLF and troops from the neighboring Amhara region .

“Many of these actions were not random or just a by-product of war. They were calculated and deliberate,” Blinken said as he presented the annual US human rights report.

He added that the State Department also found crimes against humanity committed by Ethiopian, Eritrean and Amhara forces, including killings and sexual assaults, though he did not name the TPLF.

In its response on Tuesday, the Ethiopian foreign ministry said the US statement “unfairly distributes blame between different sides in the conflict”.

“This partisan and divisive approach by the US is ill-advised,” it said, calling it “unwarranted” and not helpful to the peace process.

The war worsened US relations with Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation and long one of Washington’s most important partners on the continent.

During his visit, Blinken praised progress in implementing a peace deal in the country and announced $331 million in aid, but stopped short of reintroducing it into a US trade program.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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