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In letter to UN, Eritrea accuses US of destabilizing Ethiopia’s Tigray region
Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh has blamed the United States for “stoking further conflict and destabilization” in Ethiopia’s Tigray through interference and intimidation in the northern region.
In a letter to the UN Security Council (UNSC) circulated on Monday, the top Eritrean diplomat said that consecutive US administrations had supported the armed rebels of Tigray People’s Liberation Movement (TPLF) for the last 20 years for the current conflict and to “resuscitate the remnants of the TPLF regime.”
The letter said that blaming Eritrea for the fighting in Tigray was unfounded.
The United States has recently imposed restrictions on economic and security assistance to Ethiopia over the ongoing atrocities in the northern region, and also a ban on travel visas to current or former Ethiopian and Eritrean government and military officials.
The Eritrean foreign minister strongly censured the US State Department’s recent announcement on visa restrictions for Eritrean and Ethiopian officials, saying it was only the latest in a string of “unilateral acts of intimidation and interference.”
Elsewhere in the letter, the minister accused the TPLF of conducting a disinformation campaign to camouflage its illicit schemes to arm itself and topple Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and he urged the Security Council “to take appropriate measures to redress the injustice.”
The TPLF led the coalition that ruled Ethiopia for nearly 30 years until Abiy rose to power in 2018. Abiy further alienated the TPLF by making peace with longtime foe Eritrea as soon as he took office.
Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea sent troops into Tigray in November after accusing the once-dominant regional ruling party, TPLF, of launching attacks on Ethiopian federal army troops based in the region.
Though Premier Abiy promised military operations would be brief, nearly seven months later, fighting continues.
Thousands have reportedly been killed in the war that has sent a third of the region’s six million people fleeing.
Rights groups and aid organizations who made their way into Tigray reported that the troops had committed rights violations and massacres in the region.
The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that Tigray was facing a horrifying situation with people dying of hunger and poor health.
Mark Lowcock, the UN humanitarian chief, has also said in a recent statement that the economy has been destroyed along with businesses, crops and farms and there are no banking or telecommunications services.
Last month, over 10,000 Ethiopians also protested against the US stance on their country. The demonstration organized in Addis Ababa by the Ethiopian authorities said Ethiopia did not need a” Western intervention.”