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Ethiopia Rejects US Accusation of War Crimes as Inflammatory

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, meets Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 15, 2023.

Ethiopia’s government has rejected a U.S. assertion that all sides in the two-year Tigray war committed war crimes, calling the statement “inflammatory.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday on Twitter that the Ethiopian and Eritrean armies, Amhara region forces and Tigray People’s Liberation Front forces all committed “atrocity crimes” during the Tigray war that ended in November.

Blinken said he condemns these atrocities and welcomes commitments to pursue transitional justice.

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs struck back in a statement Tuesday, saying it rejects the U.S. allegation that all sides committed war crimes during the Tigray conflict.

It said Blinken’s statement, coming a week after the secretary of state visited Ethiopia, “unfairly proportions blame” and is inflammatory and “untimely.”

The government said it has just launched national consultations on a transitional justice policy.

The ministry added that a report on human rights released by the U.S. State Department on Monday does not contain any information that wasn’t included in a previous joint report done by the U.N. and Ethiopia’s Human Rights Commission.

That report in September of last year said investigators had found evidence of crimes against humanity by the Ethiopian government, including using starvation as a weapon.

The government rejected that report.