WASHINGTON, DC, 5 April 2021 – The State Department and Congress of the United States have slammed Ethiopia over reports of fresh massacres targeting civilians.
News reports and rights groups have said at least 30 unarmed civilians are killed in western Ethiopian over a 24-hour period.
The US Embassy in Addis Ababa strongly condemned “latest reports of civilians killed in Wollega, Oromia on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, and in Metekel, Benishangui on March 31, 2021”, a statement from the embassy reads in part.
“I am concerned about rising ethnic tensions and worsening incidents of violence across Ethiopia, including recent reports that dozens of civilians were killed in the Oromia and Benishangui regions,” wrote U.S. Senator Chris Coons of the state of Delaware on Twitter.
The condemnations came the same day the Ethiopian foreign ministry announced that Eritrean forces have started withdrawing from Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray.
The Ethiopian foreign ministry has blamed Eritrans troops for human rights absuses, including rape, looting and killings of civilians in Tigray.
Also on Monday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed admitted that his troops are battling a sophisticated insurgency embedded in Tigray’s rural population.
It was the first time the prime minister was indirectly admitting that fighting continues in Tigray.
He previously claimed victory for federal forces only three weeks after he, on last November 4, ordered military deployments in Tigray to subdue fighters loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), then the ruling party in the region.
Abiy Ahmed accused the TPLF of attacking a military base, killing 50 soldiers and looting weapons in the raid.
While Addis Ababa claimed victory, ousted and on-the-run TPLF leaders promised to fight on without surrender.
Addis Ababa admitted Monday that the military campaign has not achieved its goal.
Referring to Tigray rulers as a junta, Addis Ababa said the TLPF “has now turned to a guerilla [force] ,mingled among the farmers and started moving from place to place”.
The statement also admitted that fighting was ongoing on several fronts.
“Federal forces are on a major fight on eight fronts in the north and the west [of the country] with the enemies that are anti-farmers, anti-civilians, and caused strife among Ethiopians, and [the military and police] are paying a sacrifice”.