Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on the Situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region
United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
April 15, 2021
Today the United States raised again in the Security Council its grave concern regarding the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and credible reports that Eritrean forces are re-uniforming as Ethiopian military in order to remain in Tigray indefinitely. The Eritrean government must withdraw its forces from Ethiopia immediately.
We are horrified by the reports of rape and other unspeakably cruel sexual violence that continue to surface. The degradation and trauma associated with these attacks will have long-term effects on the affected communities. We condemn all sexual violence and demand perpetrators be brought to justice.
We acknowledge Prime Minister Abiy’s commitment to hold accountable all those responsible for human rights violations and abuses, and atrocities. The Eritrean government must make a similar commitment. We welcome the joint investigation by the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission in Tigray and urge them to complete this investigation as thoroughly and swiftly as possible.
An estimated 5.2 million people in Tigray are food insecure and require assistance and are at risk of famine. There remain challenges accessing populations in need, and some of these restrictions have been imposed by Eritrean forces. We continue to call for unhindered humanitarian access in Tigray. The United States has committed an additional $152 million to help address humanitarian needs in Tigray. We call on other international donors to increase assistance to meet the growing needs.
We call again for an end to hostilities and for the Ethiopian government to deliver upon a political settlement of the crisis; permit unhindered humanitarian access; allow for independent, international investigations into human rights abuses and violations; protect civilians; enact the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara regional forces from Tigray; and hold those responsible for human rights violations accountable.
This crisis demands our attention and our action. It’s time for the Security Council to speak with one voice.