US: War Crimes by All Sides in Ethiopia's Tigray Conflict

Image copyright: AP [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • The US claimed on Monday that all parties in Ethiopia's two-year Tigray conflict committed war crimes, and called for those most responsible to be held accountable.

  • Sec. of State Antony Blinken said the "calculated and deliberate" war crimes were committed by the Ethiopian and Eritrean national armies as well as the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and neighboring Amhara region forces.

The Spin

Narrative A

While Washington supposedly blames all parties involved for the atrocities of the Tigray conflict, it accuses only Addis Ababa and its allies of "crimes against humanity." By doing so, the US continues its campaign against Ethiopia on a smaller scale, having already punished only Addis Ababa and Eritrea but not the TPLF. With the TPLF having lost the war, caution is needed when the US pretends to now want "peace and reconciliation."

Narrative B

Though Addis Ababa may not like it, Blinken's remarks are based on an unbiased US review of atrocities during the Tigray War. Amid Blinken's visit to Ethiopia and a new aid package, the US has signaled that the time has come to revitalize the longstanding bilateral relations. Washington and the international community must keep a close eye on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed since he bears the main responsibility for the outbreak of the devastating civil war.

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