Washington D.C. – Following a bipartisan call in March from the lawmakers to “utilize all available tools, including Global Magnitsky authorities and other targeted sanctions, to hold parties accountable for their actions and bring an end to this crisis,” Representatives Gregory W. Meeks and Michael McCaul, Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the continued presence of Eritrean forces in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
“We are deeply concerned by the failure of the Government of Ethiopia and the Government of the State of Eritrea to honor their public commitments to withdraw Eritrean forces from Ethiopia. The only viable path toward a durable cessation of hostilities and inclusive political dialogue will not be found through military action. The continued presence of Eritrean forces, who have been credibly implicated in gross violations of human rights in Tigray, is a major impediment to resolving this conflict. Moreover, mounting reports of atrocities against civilians, including sexual and gender-based violence, at the hands of Ethiopian and Eritrean forces and other armed groups are horrifying and completely unacceptable. Credible reports of rape being used as a weapon in this conflict underscore the brutality being inflicted upon the most vulnerable populations in Ethiopia.
“We acknowledge the ongoing efforts of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, in partnership with the UN High Commission on Human Rights, to investigate atrocities in Tigray and urge they be granted unfettered access to Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, and Oromia regions of Ethiopia to investigate reports of atrocities there. They must be afforded all due access and independence to see this important work through to its conclusion.
“The appointment of Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, underscores our commitment to finding a solution to this conflict and working with our partners to address other important issues in the Horn. As he travels throughout the region to engage key stakeholders on these pressing matters, we urge the Administration to urgently use all available tools, including sanctions and other restrictive measures, to hold all perpetrators accountable and bring an end to this conflict.”