Ethiopia has rejected the US State Department's insistence that the Ethiopian military and other parties to the recently ended conflict in northern Tigray have committed war crimes, saying the accusation was "inflammatory" and "untimely to date".
Ethiopia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that "blaming in this way is unjustified and undermines U.S. support for an inclusive peace process in Ethiopia."
She said the U.S. position was "selective" because it cleared Tigray forces of accusations of rape and sexual violence.
However, the statement said Ethiopia hoped to restore its "strategic relationship" with the United States, underscoring the desire expressed by both sides during Blinken's visit to repair relations strained by the war.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that members of Ethiopia's National Defense Forces (ENDF), allies from the Eritrean military, Amhara Regional Forces and opposition forces affiliated with the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) had committed war crimes during the two-year conflict.
Blinken's comments came less than a week after he traveled to Ethiopia to meet with government officials and a representative of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).
Blinken also praised progress in implementing a truce reached by the warring parties last November, saying more work needed to be done.
The conflict, rooted in a power struggle between the federal government and Tigray leaders, has killed tens of thousands, displaced millions and starved hundreds of thousands.