Blinken expresses 'grave concern' over Tigray to Ethiopian PM

Blinken tells Ethiopian prime minister of 'grave concern' over Tigray crisis
2 min read
05 February, 2021
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced "grave concern" to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed over the Tigray crisis.
Blinken also voiced support for democracy and human rights in Ethiopia [Getty]

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday voiced "grave concern" to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed over the conflict-hit Tigray region and urged immediate humanitarian access.

"Secretary Blinken expressed our grave concern about the humanitarian crisis in the Tigray region and urged immediate, full and unhindered humanitarian access to prevent further loss of life," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

He also voiced support for democracy and human rights as well as economic prosperity in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is a close US ally but the previous secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has also voiced alarm over the violence in Tigray.

Abiy, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, in November launched a military operation in the restive region in response to an attack on federal army camps blamed on Tigray's ruling party.

The government claimed victory later that month but concerns have persisted on the humanitarian front, with refugees fleeing into neighboring Sudan - itself trying to recover from years of war.

A UN humanitarian assessment dated January 6 said Tigray remained "volatile" with "localized fighting."

The UN is especially worried about what happened at two camps housing over 30,000 Eritrean refugees that are inaccessible.

Top officials have repeatedly sounded the alarm about reported killings, abductions and forced repatriations from the camps back to neighboring Eritrea.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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