While Addis Ababa, but also Moscow and Beijing repeat that the conflict in the province is an « internal affair », the head of the American diplomacy Antony Blinken has raised the veil on the idea that Washington has a stronger action to intervene in the conflict.
When asked by a parliamentarian on Wednesday about the possibility of sending peacekeepers to Tigray, Antony Blinken did not rule out the idea. For him, first of all, the Eritrean forces and the Amhara militias must leave and then be replaced by a force that « will not commit acts of ethnic cleansing as we have seen in western Tigray ».
This statement shows that the US is not convinced by Addis Ababa’s justifications and intends to increase the pressure. Washington has convened a meeting of the UN Security Council, which it chairs, on Thursday on « conflict and food security », during which American diplomats do not hide the fact that they intend to talk about Ethiopia publicly this time.
Resignation of an Ethiopian ambassador
On the ground, the situation is still uncertain. A delegation of Western ambassadors was visiting Mekélé, the capital of Tigray, on Wednesday. They went to « a ghost town », according to a journalist who accompanied them. The inhabitants wanted to show their displeasure by staying at home. At the same time, Ethiopia’s deputy ambassador to Washington resigned. In a letter, he denounced his government’s campaign of destruction in the north of the country.
Meanwhile, a federal court on Thursday released four Tigrayan leaders on bail. They had been arrested or surrendered when the federal army captured Mekele in late November. Among them is the former Speaker of Parliament, Keria Ibrahim, who gave birth in prison.