Ethiopia denies US allegations on ethnic cleansing

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The Ethiopian government has denied allegations of ethnic cleansing by the Tigreans, terming the allegations “baseless”.

“Nothing happened during the largest law enforcement operation in Tigray, and it cannot be defined as ethnic intent against anyone in the region,” The foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made it clear Wednesday that “ethnic cleansing” has taken place in western Tigray, the first time a senior international official has publicly described the events in Tigray.

Blinken told the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee that he was “seeing very credible reports of human rights abuses and ongoing abuses” in Tigray, a region in northern Ethiopia that is home to a ruling party.

Ethiopian politics has been closed for decades, before the emergence of Prime Minister Abi Ahmed.

The TPLF leaders are hiding in the bush, with federal forces and their allies hunting down fighters loyal to the Tigray regional administration.

The humanitarian situation in Tigray remains dire with clashes leading to the displacement of people, while some villages have been completely evacuated.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest assessment that basic services, such as telecommunications, essential services and electricity, are still missing, with people at increased risk of ever being at risk.