US calls for immediate end to fighting in Ethiopia, offers to help reconcile rivals

The United States Monday voiced its “grave concern” over the ongoing conflict between sides in Ethiopia and called for a “complete end” to the fighting in the Horn of Africa.

In a phone call with Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “reiterated the United States’ grave concern regarding ongoing hostilities and the risks the conflict poses.”

The statement from Pompeo’s office said he called for “a complete end to the fighting and constructive dialogue to resolve the crisis.”

Weeks of fighting erupted earlier this year after Abiy ordered military operations against the Tigray region’s dissident leaders for their attacks on federal army camps.

Abiy was last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner after his work to find a solution to the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.

Ethiopia is a major US ally, but concerns have grown after the most recent fighting left thousands dead and sent tens of thousands of refugees fleeing into Sudan.

On Monday, Pompeo said the US was willing to assist in dialogue and reconciliation between the Tigray region leaders and Abiy’s government.

“He urged the Government of Ethiopia to ensure respect for human rights of Tigrayans and all ethnic groups,” the statement from Pompeo’s office said.

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