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Biden urges ceasefire in Ethiopian Tigray region



U.S. President, Joe Biden, has called for a ceasefire in Ethiopia’s northern conflict region of Tigray in view of the escalating violence there.

“Political wounds cannot be healed through force of arms,” Biden said on Wednesday evening.

He said belligerents in the Tigray region should declare and adhere to a ceasefire, and Eritrean and Amhara forces should withdraw.

“I am deeply concerned by the escalating violence and the hardening of regional and ethnic divisions in multiple parts of Ethiopia.

“The large-scale human rights abuses taking place in Tigray, including widespread sexual violence, are unacceptable and must end.

“Families of every background and ethnic heritage deserve to live in peace and security in their country,” Biden said.

The U.S. government’s special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeff Feltman, would travel to the region again next week to seek a peaceful settlement of the conflicts, Biden said.

The Ethiopian government launched a military offensive in November against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in northern Ethiopia, which until then had power in the Tigray region.

The hostilities in northern Ethiopia soon escalated into a complex conflict involving neighbouring Eritrea.

Addis Ababa had long denied that Eritrean troops were present in the conflict-ridden region, but then announced in early April that they would be withdrawn.

Ethiopia’s military offensive followed years of tension between the TPLF and the central government, in a conflict which has driven hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes and caused widespread destruction.

Cecilia Odey

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