(VoA)A U.S. senator whom President Joe Biden sent as an emissary to Ethiopia says he urged Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to declare a cease-fire in the embattled Tigray region, but his appeal was rejected.
“I pressed for a unilateral declaration of a cease-fire, something the prime minister did not agree to, and pressed for a rapid move towards a full political dialogue on Tigray’s future political structure,” Senator Chris Coons told reporters during a briefing call Thursday.
Coons said he met with Abiy for five hours over two days. He also had meetings with other senior Ethiopian officials, the chief commissioner of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, as well as the chair of the African Union Commission, NGOs and members of the diplomatic community.
The U.S. senator welcomed the Ethiopian prime minister’s pledge to hold all human rights violators accountable, regardless of which force they belong to.
“I think those are encouraging public statements,” Coons said. “It’s actions that are going to matter, and whether or not complete transparency and access is provided to human rights investigators and whether or not there is accountability, particularly for some of the alarming and credible allegations of human rights violations, is going to be critical to any successful resolution of this conflict in Tigray,” Coons added