Last week, CNN and the BBC reported on massacres in the region
The United States is looking into reports of human rights abuses and atrocities in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the State Department said Monday.
Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that the United States is “seriously concerned” about recent CNN and BBC reports of Ethiopian military massacres in the region.
“We are, of course, looking into these reports. We have taken them under advisement and will continue to pay close attention to this situation,” Price said.
“We strongly condemn the killings, forced displacement, sexual violence and other human rights violations that have been reported by several organizations,” Price added, declining to specify who Washington holds responsible for these violations.
Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry has said an investigation involving foreign experts into the alleged human rights abuses will begin shortly.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country, is trying to take control of the situation in several hot spots where inter-ethnic conflicts are ongoing.
Price also welcomed the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry’s pledge to withdraw Eritrean troops from Tigray, calling it an important step toward de-escalating tensions in the region.
Eritrea and Ethiopia have denied the presence of Eritrean troops in Tigray for months, despite dozens of eyewitness accounts. G-7 countries, including the U.S., on Friday called for a swift, unconditional and verified withdrawal of Eritrean soldiers and a political process acceptable to all Ethiopians.
“The immediate and complete withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray would be an important step forward in de-escalating the conflict and restoring peace and regional stability,” Price told reporters.