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US official condemns violence in Tigray, warns of new sanctions | Conflicting Issues

U.S. lawmakers want to take action between reports of terrorist attacks, ethnic cleansing and war crimes perpetrated by Ethiopian military forces, Eritrea.

A U.S. official said Biden’s administration was planning to impose more sanctions on Ethiopia and Eritrea if attacks continued on the Tigray region, and to determine whether war crimes had been committed.

“Violence in Tigray is alarming. It hurts the conscience, ”U.S. Secretary of State Robert Godec said Thursday.

The US has called on the parties to resolve the dispute, allow for humanitarian assistance and prevent human rights abuses. “If we don’t see that things are going well at the moment,” Godec said, “we will introduce some legislation.”

Now in its seventh month, the Tigray war has killed thousands of people and put five million people at risk of starvation cruelty volunteers and soldiers in the area.

Mr Godec condemned “brutal killings, sexual violence including terrorist rape, forced evictions, and the massacre of civilians” in Tigray.

Ethiopian and Eritrean troops have launched a “massive and extremely violent campaign that is tantamount to punishing the Tigray people,” Godec said.

Amhara government forces are forcing the Tigrayan people to leave their homes “for ethnic cleansing”, Godec told the US Congress.

The Biden government has suspended US financial and security assistance to Ethiopia, a former US ally in the region, and wants to impose new sanctions on Ethiopian and Eritrean nationals and military personnel, Godec said.

Democrats and Republicans in the US Congress are one in fear and condemn for what is happening in Tigray. Legislators have called for countries to impose international sanctions on those involved in the war and to regulate the economy.

“Most of us believe these are war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate committee, said.

“We will not be able to keep things secret if this happens in the world,” said Menendez, a U.S. diplomat, who called on Biden to take action to force the Ethiopian government to end the conflict.

Managers donated $ 305m in new Tigray support and Biden has appointed Jeffrey Feltman, Horn of Africa special envoy.

President Joe Biden on May 26 he called for her to leave Eritrean and Amhara troops from the Tigray region of Ethiopia and said immediate access to emergency services should be provided to prevent famine in the region.

“The Belligerents in the Tigray region should announce and follow up the ceasefire, and the Eritrean and Amhara troops must leave,” Biden said in a statement on May 26.

“All parties, especially the Ethiopian and Eritrean Armed Forces, should allow for the opportunity to work together urgently, without restriction in the region to end hunger,” he said.

Dozens of Ethiopians who fled the war in Tigray are now facing starvation without help [File: El Tayeb Siddig/Reuters]

The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs warned earlier this week that Ethiopia is at risk of famine for fighting.

“There is a high risk of starvation if aid is not available in the next two months,” Mark Lowcock, UN secretary-general for humanitarian and emergency services, told a Security Council meeting, according to the AFP news agency.

Five million people in Tigray and across the border in Sudan seeking help, Sarah Charles, a senior assistant to the US Agency for International Development, told a Senate committee.

“The number of needs is staggering” and the military has led to “violence that is so prevalent in women that women are left paralyzed,” said Charles.

The situation in Ethiopia is similar to that of a famine in the 1980’s that killed more than 1.2 million people and displaced millions, US officials say.

“If Ethiopia continues to move, it is likely that there will be a major humanitarian crisis and a refugee crisis and could be a threat to the entire region,” Godec said.

“We have made it clear that if we do not see rapid progress … Ethiopia and Eritrea can expect to take further action,” Godec said.

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