Eritrea denies U.S. claims of war crimes in Tigray
The government of Eritrea has denied allegations that its military forces engaged in war crimes during the Tigray conflict in northern Ethiopia, a conflict in which it has often claimed its personnel were not involved.
The denial issued Tuesday followed a statement from Tony Blinken, the United States Secretary of State, in which he accused members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF), Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces, and Amhara forces of committing war crimes during the conflict.
“Members of the ENDF, EDF, and Amhara forces also committed crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and persecution,” Blinken said. “Members of the Amhara forces also committed the crime against humanity of deportation or forcible transfer and committed ethnic cleansing in western Tigray.”
But even as the U.S. called for accountability as commitment to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement ceasefire moves forward, officials in Asmara accused Washington of complicity in the conflict’s tragic outcomes due to actions meant only to protect the TPLF.
“The current cheap demonization campaign is designed to blackmail and intimidate Eritrea and the Federal Ethiopian government through fallacious accusations and keep them hostage while bolstering the TPLF to create further chaos,” said Eritrea’s statement. “The ensuing mayhem would then create the pretexts and conditions for illicit and continued meddling and intervention.”
Eritrea placed all responsibility on the TPLF, including alleged plans to attack Eritrea.
“The litany of TPLF’s crimes, including massive and forcible recruitment of tens of thousands of children in its human wave assaults in the Afar and Amhara Regions of Ethiopia, are too many to be recounted here,” said Eritrea.
“But they were deliberately downplayed and glossed over as U.S. overarching objective remained salvaging the TPLF under all circumstances. In the event, moral and legal accountability should not be eviscerated, once again, on the altar of U.S. overriding geopolitical priorities.”
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