The White House said that President Joe Biden raised his concerns about air strikes in the conflict raging in northern Ethiopia, and about human rights issues, during a phone call with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
“President Biden expressed his concerns about continued civilian deaths and injuries, and the suffering caused by continued hostilities, including recent air strikes,” the White House said in a statement after the two leaders’ talks.
The White House added that Biden and Abiy Ahmed discussed “the need to address the human rights concerns of all affected Ethiopians, including concerns about the detention of Ethiopians under the state of emergency.”
The White House also made it clear that Biden praised Abi Ahmed following the recent release of several political prisoners.
In a tweet on Twitter, Abiy Ahmed described his conversations with Biden as “frank” and said that they discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation.
Thousands have died and millions displaced since war broke out in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray in November 2020 between federal government forces, backed by regional allies, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which controls the area.
On Sunday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said aid organizations had suspended their work in the northwestern region of Tigray province, where the air strike took place, citing the continuing threat of drone strikes.