Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, along with Karen Bass (D-CA) and Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Global Human Rights, issued the following joint statement after introducing a resolution to condemn violence and human rights abuses in Ethiopia:
“We condemn, in the strongest terms, the continued fighting and atrocities ongoing in Tigray and the increasing violence and human rights abuses occurring throughout Ethiopia. The conflict in Tigray has devastated local communities, displaced more than one million people, pushed over five million people into near famine conditions and destabilized the broader Horn of Africa region. The continuation of this violence in unacceptable and humanitarian workers must be provided safe, unfettered access to the region to provide emergency assistance to vulnerable communities.
“All parties to the conflict must immediately cease hostilities and engage in an inclusive political dialogue in good faith. The Government of Ethiopia and the Government of the State of Eritrea must fulfill their commitment to immediately and fully withdraw Eritrean Defense Forces from Ethiopia. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission must have full access and autonomy to investigate human rights violations and atrocities committed in Tigray.
“Finally, we are deeply concerned that the political and security environment in Ethiopia calls into question whether upcoming elections can be conducted in a manner that is free, fair and credible. Urgent attention is needed to ensure that upcoming elections do not exacerbate violence and instability, and further disenfranchise marginalized populations. Seven months into this conflict, the status quo cannot continue, and a peaceful resolution is urgently needed. Millions of lives are at risk.”