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Blinken Expresses Concern over Human Rights in Ethiopia's Amhara Region


Fri 29 Sep 2023 | 09:16 AM
Blinken
Blinken
By Ahmad El-Assasy

US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, expressed deep concern on Thursday regarding the escalating situations in the Amhara and Oromia regions of Ethiopia. He emphasized the urgency of promoting a peaceful resolution through political dialogue and ensuring the protection of human rights.

Matt Miller, the spokesperson for the US Department of State, announced in a statement that Blinken and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed discussed the security challenges in the Horn of Africa during a phone call. Both leaders shared a mutual aspiration for a united, peaceful, and prosperous Ethiopia.

Blinken's concerns specifically pertained to the conditions in the Amhara and Oromia regions. In his conversation with the Ethiopian Prime Minister, he stressed the significance of improving humanitarian oversight to facilitate the resumption of food aid.

Further accentuating on a hopeful note, Blinken applauded ongoing efforts to establish a "comprehensive, genuine, and credible transitional justice policy," according to the statement.

The Amhara region has been witnessing armed violence since last April, following the federal government's announcement of its intent to dismantle the "Special Forces" in the country. These armed units were established by some regions about 15 years ago. Amhara nationalists believe this decision aims to weaken their region.

The situation in Amhara also poses a potential risk of reigniting conflicts in the neighboring Tigray region. It's worth noting that the Tigray region had achieved a peace agreement after nine months of negotiations, ending a brutal two-year-long conflict. During this conflict, militias and the "Special Forces" in Amhara provided crucial support to the Ethiopian army against the Tigray rebels.

The international community will be keenly observing developments in Ethiopia, hoping for diplomatic solutions that prioritize human rights and regional stability.