ADDIS ABABA, 10 March 2021 – The US Ambassador to Addis Ababa is Wednesday visiting Ethiopia’s Tigray region, where thousands have been killed since an armed conflict broke out there last November 4.
The US is “committed to providing life-saving assistance to vulnerable populations in Ethiopia,” the American embassy in Addis Ababa said Wednesday in a tweet.
It is not clear how much access the US Ambassador to Ethiopia Geeta Pasi will be granted while she visits Tigray.
Up to three million Tigrayans have been impacted by the armed conflict, with over 100,000 of them now housed in United Nations-run refugee camps in neighboring Sudan.
The United Nations said earlier this month that an estimated 521,200 people have been internally displaced by the war, putting the number of refugees in camps in Sudan at 61,000.
Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken encouraged the Ethiopian government to allow unhindered access to Tigray for aid workers, rights groups and the media.
The United Nations, the European Union and the United States have joined rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in calling for an independent fact-finding mission into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The UN Human Rights Council called on Ethiopia to allow independent experts into the region.
In one of the worst massacres in the history of Ethiopia, rights groups, citing eyewitnesses and survivors, blamed Eritrean troops for the massacre of hundreds of people in the holy city of Axum last November 29th and 30th.
Ethiopia sent federal troops into Tigray last November 4, after Addis Ababa accused fighters loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of attacking military bases in Tigray, allegedly killing 50 soldiers and looting weapons.