US will not resume assistance to Ethiopia for most security programs

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The State Department said on Friday that Washington decided not to lift the hiatus in aid to Ethiopia for most security sector programs, days after the Secretary of State for US state Antony Blinken described the acts in Tigray as ethnic cleansing.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said that while the United States has decided to resume certain types of assistance, including that related to global health and food security, assistance for d ‘other programs and most programs in the security sector would remain on hiatus.

“Given the current environment in Ethiopia, we have decided not to lift the assistance break for other programs, including most programs in the security sector,” Price said at a briefing.

TOP US DIPLOMAT BLINKEN DEMANDS CHANGES IN ETHIOPIAN TILGRAY

Blinken urged Ethiopia to end hostilities in Tigray and on Wednesday, testifying before Congress, he said he wanted to see the Tigray forces of Eritrea and Amhara replaced by security forces “who do not ‘will not abuse the human rights of the people of Tigray and engage in acts of ethnic cleansing, which we have seen in western Tigray. “

Thousands of people have died, hundreds of thousands have been driven from their homes and there are food, water and medicine shortages in the region of over 5 million people.

Blinken, during an appeal with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday, discussed the importance of an international investigation into reported human rights violations in the region, the Department of State.

He said in the appeal, Blinken also called for “enhanced regional and international efforts to help resolve the humanitarian crisis, end atrocities and restore peace to Ethiopia.”

The UN said last week that Eritrean troops were operating throughout the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia and reports suggested they were responsible for atrocities.

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The State Department said last month that Washington would dissociate its hiatus on aid to Ethiopia from its policy on the giant Blue Nile hydroelectric dam that has sparked a long-standing dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia. and Sudan.

But he warned that resumption of assistance would be assessed based on a number of factors, including “whether each suspended program remains appropriate and timely in light of developments in Ethiopia after the establishment. of the break, “according to a State Department official. .

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