Biden Raises Concerns to Ethiopian PM About Tigray Conflict

White House says the two leaders discussed the continuing conflict in Tigray and humanitarian access to the region.

By AAMER MADHANI, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden expressed concerns on Monday in a phone call with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed about detentions and civilian killings in the conflict in the Tigray region, while commending Abiy for the recent release of several political prisoners.

The White House said that Biden raised to Abiy recent airstrikes that continue to cause civilian casualties and suffering in Africa’s second most populous nation.

The statement added that the leaders “discussed ways to accelerate dialogue toward a negotiated ceasefire, the urgency of improving humanitarian access across Ethiopia, and the need to address the human rights concerns of all affected Ethiopians, including concerns about detentions of Ethiopians under the state of emergency.”

The Ethiopian government last week announced amnesty for some of the country’s most high-profile political detainees, including opposition figure Jawar Mohammed and senior Tigray party officials

Abiy on Twitter described the conversation with Biden as “candid” and both agreed “there is great value in strengthening our cooperation through constructive engagement founded on mutual respect.”

The call was requested by Biden and came after Jeffrey Feltman, the outgoing U.S. special envoy to the Horn of Africa, visited Ethiopia last week for talks with senior leaders.

The more than yearlong war has created a devastating humanitarian crisis. The conflict entered a new phase in late December when when Tigray forces retreated into their region amid a Tigray military offensive and Ethiopian forces said they would not advance further there.

Biden stressed to Abiy that the two sides must take advantage of the moment and called on the Ethiopian leader to improve humanitarian access, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on the leaders’ call on the condition of anonymity. White House officials are concerned that if momentum is not maintained the conflict—which has left thousands dead and hundreds of thousands facing famine—could further deteriorate.

Biden announced in November he was moving to cut Ethiopia from a U.S. trade program over its failure to end the conflict in the Tigray region that has led to “gross violations” of human rights.

The administration has made clear to Abiy that it’s willing to quickly revisit the decision to remove Ethiopia as a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, but only if further concrete action is taken toward negotiating a ceasefire, the official said. The program provides sub-Saharan African nations duty-free access to the United States on the condition they meet certain requirements.

 

3 Comments

  1. President Biden s concerns abut Tigray show the suspected and hidden motive of his administration. The administration does not seem to accept that Tigray is part of Ethiopia and the conflict is an internal issue. The US state department has been issuing statements that reflect its pro-TPLF policy and impartiality.

  2. The Biden administration has been consistent in its pro-TPLF policy and has lost credibility as a partner for development and stability. Exclusion of Ethiopia from the so called African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is obviously a decision to support the TPLF.

  3. Subject: ” Biden Raises Concerns to Ethiopian PM About Tigray Conflict”

    Humble Commentary, 11 Jan 2022
    Believe it or not >>>>>Quote: “The Biden administration has been consistent in its pro-TPLF policy” UNQUOTE

    His Excellency Mr. Biden is NOT interested in TPLF-Policy. The Honourable Mr. Biden does not care about Black Africans any where.

    The only crucial agenda at this point in time is to make sure that Ethiopia does NOT accelerate beyond the acceptable level of development called “safe” for Black Africans.

    It is the permanent position of the WESTERN Colonial Force, lead by the Mighty USA — the Leader of the Universe. THAT IS ALL.

    Let us not deceive ourself about Western Generosity for BLACK PEOPLE ANY WHERE AROUND THE GLOBE.
    ————————————————————
    Post Script:
    One is TRULY SAD for the WISE PEOPLE of TIGRAY to be used as a pony instrument to keep the entire BLACK PEOPLE around the GLOBE as PRIMITIVES. One wonders what the SPIRITS of GALANT Tigrayan of the PAST would feel in a moment like this.
    May the consciousness of Tigrayan Leaders of the DAY be their own guidance. History will be the Witness. THE END

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