After criticizing the election, the US calls for Ethiopian unity.
The US urged Ethiopians to reject violence and divisions on Monday, expressing worry over the conduct of elections held amid horrific fighting in Tigray.
In results revealed Saturday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was re-elected for a fifth five-year term, but the State Department said it maintained by its declaration issued before the vote that the process “was not free or fair for all Ethiopians” owing to violence and the boycott of opposition parties.
“All of this emphasizes the importance of launching an inclusive effort to develop a national consensus on Ethiopian governance,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price.
“It is vital that Ethiopians come together in the aftermath of the election to face growing differences. We call on politicians and community leaders to reject violence and desist from pushing others to do so,” he said.
Abiy, who earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for his efforts to promote peace, particularly in Eritrea, had previously enjoyed good ties with the US. However, since launching an offensive in Tigray in November, where hundreds of thousands of civilians are facing hunger, Washington has been outraged.
Thousands more have died as a result of the violence.
The State Department confirmed Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s March assessment that “acts of ethnic cleansing” had occurred in Tigray in its annual report on atrocity prevention given to Congress on Monday.
A new increase in combat, according to Price, has the US “gravely concerned.”
Price stated, “We strongly condemn any reprisal actions conducted against civilians in the Tigray region, whether by organized military or security personnel or by rogue elements.”
“The United States further urges all armed participants to adhere to their international humanitarian legal commitments, especially those relating to civilian protection.”
Following alleged attacks by the local ruling party, Abiy launched an offensive, and the Ethiopian army won swift advances with the help of troops from neighboring Eritrea and the Amhara region.
In a stunning turn of events, the Tigray Defense Forces retook Mekele, the regional capital, in late June.