US calls for negotiated ceasefire in Ethiopia

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday stressed the need for a negotiated ceasefire in Tigray in a call with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The US official called for the full withdrawal of Eritrean and regional Amhara forces from Tigray and for the authorities to ensure unhindered and safe humanitarian access to the people in need.

Mr Blinken also emphasised the urgency of holding an inclusive political dialogue to resolve the ethnic and political divisions in the country.

The conflict has pushed Tigray into a deep humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people living in famine conditions, according to a UN-backed estimate.

Last week, the Ethiopian government declared a unilateral ceasefire and troops pulled out of Tigray.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebels initially described the Ethiopian government’s ceasefire as a “joke” and vowed to drive their “enemies” from the region after retaking the regional capital Mekelle.

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