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    US Condemns Ethiopia Over Killings of Thousands of Civilians


    Alleged victims of massacre

     

    The United States (US) has condemned alleged massacre in Ethiopia involving thousands of civilians.

    On Saturday, February 27, 2021, the US  Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, demanded the withdrawal of Eritrean and Ethiopian troops from the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

    The Secretary of State also called for an end to alleged killings and human rights violations in the Tigray region.

    Mr Blinken made the calls following investigations by CNN and Amnesty International into the massacre of civilians in two separate assaults in the northern Tigray region in 2020.

    He said in a statement on Saturday that “The United States is gravely concerned by reported atrocities and the overall deteriorating situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.”

    According to CNN and Amnesty International, thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military operation against leaders in the Tigray region.

    In the past, CNN claimed soldiers from neighboring Eritrea perpetrated many of the extrajudicial killings, assaults and human rights abuses in the Tigray region.

    According to CNN, it was briefed by eyewitnesses that a group of Eritrean soldiers opened fire on Maryam Dengelat church in Dengelat village, eastern Tigray, on November 30, 2020 while hundreds of congregants were celebrating mass.

    Dozens of people died over three days of mayhem, with soldiers slaughtering local residents, displaced people and pilgrims, CNN reported eyewitnesses as saying.

    Additionally, Amnesty International, in its report on Friday, February 26, 2021, charged that Eritrean forces killed hundreds of unarmed civilians in the city of Axum in November 2020.

    The killings according to Amnesty International, were perpetrated through indiscriminate shelling and shooting and extrajudicial killings, saying the killings could amount to a crime against humanity.

    Reacting to the reports, Mr Blinken observed that “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.” He added that “those responsible for them must be held accountable.”

     

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