It remained silent on accusations over the presence of its soldiers in Tigray
Eritrea responded to the statement of the retired US Ambassadors to Ethiopia whom it accused of implying a non-existent threat to the “territorial integrity of Ethiopia.”
In a statement posted on the website of the Eritrean Ministry of Information yesterday, the Embassy of Eritrea to the United States of America expressed its disappointment over the remarks made by the retired Ambassadors of the US to Ethiopia from 1999 to 2016.
“While we prefer not to comment on their biased views in regard to the situation in Ethiopia, we cannot but express our profound dismay at their provocative and ill intentioned swipe at Eritrea in their letter,” it said.
Ambassadors David Shinn, Aurelia Brazeal, Vicki Huddleston, and Patricia Haslach, in their joint letter sent exclusively to The Reporter, conveyed their concern about the stability and future of Ethiopia.
“We are also worried about the reported presence of Eritrean troops in Tigray, which could jeopardize Ethiopia’s territorial integrity,” the letter reads.
Likewise, earlier this week, the US Department of State under the administration of Joe Biden, slammed the government of Ethiopia, saying “credible reports” had emerged that Eritrean soldiers are involved in human rights abuses, including sexual violence and looting, calling for their withdrawal from Tigray Region.
However, the Eritrean Embassy preferred not to reflect on the allegation made by both the State Department and the retired Ambassadors, while echoing the statement made by President Issaias Afwerki .
“[Eritrea’s] principled stance – amplified at Independence Day on 24 May 1998 in the keynote address of President Isaias – was and remains the same. Eritrea does not covet an inch of the territory of its neighbors; nor will it yield an inch of its territory,” the statement of the Embassy reads.
“The allusion by these Ambassadors to potential territorial war between Eritrea and Ethiopia can only be disingenuous in content and vicious in intent,” it adds.
Meanwhile, the US State Department called for an independent and transparent investigation into reports of human rights violations and abuses, with those responsible held accountable.
The security situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia remains precarious even after two months of fighting between the defunct Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, according to several reports published by international organizations.
“Although there have been some improvements, there are reports that fighting continues in the Central, Eastern, Northwestern, South and Southeastern parts of the region, and that some rural areas remain highly insecure,” UN OCHA said in a statement released yesterday.
The UN body also indicated that there have been rising levels of hunger and food insecurity, lack of clean water for drinking, adding to reports of increased sexual violence and abuse. An estimated 1.3 million people have humanitarian needs due to the fighting in the region, according to the UN. Last month, the interim administration of the Region said 4.5 million people are in need of urgent assistance.