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US Seeks Investigation into Tigray Civilian Casualties

At a November 19 briefing held by the US Department of State, Bureau of African Affairs Assistant Secretary Tibor P. Nagy and Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael A. Raynor condemned and called for an end to civilian violence in the internal conflict between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and called for an independent investigation of all civilian deaths. The bloodshed from the conflict includes a mass killing in Mai-Kadra that began the night of November 9, with local media reporting 500 people dead. The exact number of causalities in the conflict overall is unknown due to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s communication cut-off with Tigray. The Ethiopian government and the US attribute blame for the massacre on the TPLF, a charge the group denies. State Department officials called on neighboring countries to admit refugees and praised Sudan for its own efforts, which they said were being assisted by the US. “The United States has been one of the largest contributors to humanitarian assistance to the region…. Some of this assistance is already being deployed by our partners to respond to the urgent need of Ethiopian asylum seekers,” Nagy said.