Ethiopia accused the US of being “partisan” by claiming that its forces and Eritrean soldiers committed war crimes during the two-year conflict in Tigray.
“The US statement is inflammatory,” the foreign ministry said in a statement issued a day after Washington accused all parties to the conflict of war crimes. But singled out Ethiopian, Eritrean, and regional Amhara forces for crimes against humanity while ignoring Tigrayan insurgents.
On his return to Washington, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who visited Ethiopia last week for the first time since a breakthrough peace agreement between the federal government and Tigrayan rebels in November 2022, called for accountability.
He stated that the State Department conducted a “careful review of the law and the facts” and determined that federal soldiers from both Ethiopia and its ally Eritrea, as well as the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and forces from the neighbouring Amhara region, committed war crimes.
“Many of these acts were not random or a result of war. “They were calculated and deliberate,” Blinken said while delivering the yearly United States human rights report.
Blinken went on to say that the State Department discovered crimes against humanity committed by Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Amhara forces, including killings and sexual violence, but he didn’t name the TPLF.
Ethiopia’s foreign ministry said the US statement “unfairly apportions blame among different parties in the conflict”.
“This partisan and divisive approach from the US is ill-advised,” it said, calling it “unwarranted” and unhelpful to the peace process.
The war badly soured US relations with Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation and long one of Washington’s major partners on the continent.