News Update: US demands Ethiopia access amid ethnic violence report

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The US has called for the release of thousands of ethnic Tigrayans who reportedly remain “detained arbitrarily” in Ethiopia, and wants access to be granted for international monitors.

It follows a joint report by rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, accusing Amhara forces of waging “a campaign of ethnic cleansing” against ethnic Tigrayans in disputed areas that they have taken control of since the early days of the civil war that broke out seventeen months ago.

The accusations include unlawful killings, mass detentions and forceful expulsions. The two rights groups also claimed that the federal government have approved or possibly participated in the alleged atrocities.

The US on Friday expressed “grave concern” over what it called “ethnically motived atrocities” against

Tigrayans in Ethiopia’s Amhara region.

Ethiopia has called the humanitarian report “unhelpful” but pledged to “examine” the allegations.

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Welcoming a humanitarian truce agreed between government and Tigrayan forces last month, the US urged warring parties to ensure the cessation of hostilities and seek a negotiated resolution to the conflict.

While active fighting has decreased significantly following the truce, the two parties have continued to trade accusations about the blockade of aid into Tigray where millions are in need of assistance.

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