Washington, DC (CNN)The US has condemned Eritrea and Ethiopia for coordinating their troops to close off a key aid route to Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region, following an exclusive CNN investigation published earlier this week that found that Eritrean soldiers were blocking critical humanitarian aid to starving and wounded civilians.
In a statement on Saturday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanded Eritrea and Ethiopia “take all necessary steps to ensure that their forces in Tigray cease and desist this reprehensible conduct.”
“The continued presence of Eritrean forces in Tigray further undermines Ethiopia’s stability and national unity. We again call upon the Government of Eritrea to remove its forces from Tigray,” Blinken added.
Blinken — who has repeatedly called for the withdrawal of Eritrean and Ethiopian regional forces from the Tigray region, unfettered humanitarian access and an independent investigation into the human rights abuses being committed — also called Saturday for a cease in violence to allow for humanitarian assistance for those suffering.
“The United States condemns the conduct of forces that continue to carry out atrocities and hinder the distribution of critical humanitarian assistance in Tigray. Those responsible must be held to account,” Blinked said on Twitter Saturday.
In the investigation published Wednesday, a CNN team witnessed soldiers from neighboring Eritrea, some disguising themselves in old Ethiopian military uniforms, manning checkpoints in Tigray, obstructing and occupying critical aid routes, and roaming the halls of one of the region’s few operating hospitals and threatening medical staff.
Following the publication of CNN’s investigation, the United Nations confirmed Wednesday that the “block
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