The US State Department described the Ethiopian announcement as a positive step if it leads to ending the conflict, stopping atrocities and allowing humanitarian access.
The ministry added that the United States calls on all parties to adhere to an immediate ceasefire, and to create a context for a comprehensive dialogue that preserves the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ethiopian state.
The US State Department called for the immediate withdrawal of all Eritrean forces from Ethiopian territory.
For his part, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy called for an independent international investigation into human rights violations in Tigray, and to ensure that aid workers work to reach millions at risk of starvation.
Robert Goodek, the acting US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, said during a hearing in the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that the escalating sectarian and ethnic conflicts endanger Ethiopia’s unity and territorial integrity.
Godek warned that if the crisis continued, it would destabilize the Horn of Africa and the wider region.
In this context, Eritrean soldiers withdrew from 3 main cities in Tigray (Northern Ethiopia).
The withdrawal included the towns of Shire, Aksum and Adwa, a day after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters took control of Mekele.
Continued operations of the Tigray Front
The Addis Ababa government announced on Monday evening a ceasefire after the entry of forces loyal to the former authorities emanating from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front to the capital, Mekele.
But the Tigray Liberation Front forces confirmed that their fighting will “intensify” until all “enemies” leave the area, hinting that the battles are continuing despite the ceasefire announced by the Ethiopian government.
The Ethiopian army had taken over Mekele on November 28, 2020, 3 weeks after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched an offensive to expel the local government.
Abiy Ahmed, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 after the reconciliation with Eritrea, justified his launch of the “maintenance of order” operation by attacking forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) federal military bases.
Despite the victory announced after the fall of Mekele, the battles did not stop between the Tigray Defense Forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and the Ethiopian Federal Army backed by the forces of the neighboring Amhara region and the army of Eritrea, the country bordering Tigray.
For its part, 6 countries requested an emergency general meeting of the UN Security Council, which may be held on Friday.
Diplomatic sources at the United Nations said that the delegations of the United States, Britain, France, Ireland, Norway and Estonia to the world body called late the day before yesterday to hold an open meeting of the Security Council this week on Tigray.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres considered the recent events in Tigray extremely worrying.
Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that these events “demonstrate once again that there is no military solution to the crisis.”