The United States is deeply concerned over reports of increasing violence, loss of life, indiscriminate targeting of civilians, and destruction in the conflict in northern Ethiopia, particularly around Shire in the Tigray region. We call on the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and Eritrean Defense Forces to immediately halt their joint military offensive and for Eritrea to withdraw its forces from northern Ethiopia. We further call on the Tigrayan Defense Forces to cease provocative actions. The fighting since the August 24 operation by the Tigrayan Defense Forces near Kobo in the Amhara Region contributed to the return to hostilities, which greatly increases the risk of atrocities and further human rights abuses.
It is incumbent on all armed actors to respect and protect civilians, and we call on them to allow unhindered humanitarian access to all Ethiopians in need.
We reiterate that the government of Ethiopia and Tigray regional authorities should immediately cease all hostilities and participate seriously in the forthcoming African Union-led peace talks. The United States is fully engaged with the African Union, the governments of Kenya and South Africa, and other international and regional partners to organize and mediate peace talks as soon as possible.