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United States ‘deeply troubled’ over report of ethnic cleansing in Ethiopia’s Tigray region

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The United States has expressed concerns over a recent report of ethnic cleansing in Ethiopia’s Tigray region on natives and has called for an end to unlawful detentions based on ethnicity.

The US in a statement by the State Department spokesman, Ned Price, notes with the utmost alarm that thousands of Ethiopians of Tigrayan ethnicity reportedly continue to be detained arbitrarily in life-threatening conditions in western Tigray,”

“We are deeply troubled by the report’s finding that these acts amount to ethnic cleansing,” Price said in the statement.

Slamreportafrica.com reported earlier in the week that two international human rights groups, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, accused Ethiopian forces from the Amhara region of committing war crimes and ethnic cleansing in the neighboring Tigray region.

The United States also called for the immediate release of any remaining detainees and called on relevant authorities to grant international monitors access to all detention facilities.

“We urge the Government of Ethiopia to cooperate with the UN Commission of Experts on Human Rights in Ethiopia.” The statement reads.

Washington also reiterated her “firm position that there must be credible investigations into and accountability for atrocities committed by any party to the conflict as part of any lasting solution to the crisis”

The Tigray region is the northernmost regional state of Ethiopia. The Region is the homeland of the Tigrayan, Irob, and Kunama people. Formerly known as Region 1, its capital and largest city are Mekelle. Tigray is the fifth-largest by area, the fifth-most populous, and the fifth-most densely populated of the 11 regional states in Ethiopia. 96 percent of Tigrayans are Orthodox Christian.

The region has seen some of the worst violence in the war, which has pitted Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and its allies from the Amhara region against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The TPLF dominated Ethiopia’s government before Abiy’s rise to power in 2018.

Politics

Congo DR electoral body, CENI, announces date of presidential election

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The electoral authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Commission Electorale Nationale Independente (CENI) have announced dates for the next presidential election.

CENI on Saturday said the election will take place on December 20th next year.

The commission outlined several challenges, including the logistics of transporting ballot materials thousands of miles, health concerns about Ebola and COVID-19, and unrest that has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

The incumbent president, Felix Tshisekedi, who already expressed his intention to run again. He might be running against Martin Fayulu, who continues to claim that he won the 2018 election and was denied victory.

Terrorist activities, largely by a rebel group, M23 have drawn reactions from stakeholders in the East Africa region and global observers. The M23 is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly operating in the province of North Kivu.

According to the electoral authorities, insecurity remains the main challenge for the next elections.

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Congo DR rebel group, M23 wants direct talks with government. Will Kinshasa concede?

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The M23 rebel group, which has been at loggerheads with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has asked for a direct talk with the government.

The positions are days after the deadline for the declaration of a permanent truce between the worrying battles.

Leaders of Rwanda, Burundi, and Angola met this week in Luanda to find a solution to the conflict in eastern Congo, which has forced thousands to flee their homes.

But the M23 was not part of the discussions and found out about the statement on social media, its spokesperson said.

The spokesperson of the group, Lawrence Kanyuka, “thanked the regional leaders for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the current conflict.”

“Give us direct negotiations with the government to resolve the root causes of conflict that are producing all these wars here,” he said. M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa also issued a statement to the same effect.

Meanwhile, Congo DR’s foreign minister Christophe Lutundula said: “It won’t happen. I can reassure you on behalf of the government and the President of the Republic.”

The M23 is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly operating in the province of North Kivu.

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