BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the following statement regarding the ongoing fighting in Ethiopia's Tigray region between the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF):
"The risk of the conflict in Ethiopia descending into civil war is a real, present, and immediate danger to regional stability, U.S. national security interests, and, most importantly, the safety and welfare of the Ethiopian people and Ethiopia's democratic transition. The United States and the international community must continue direct engagement to ensure all sides commit to an immediate ceasefire, protecting all civilians, providing prompt humanitarian access, restoring internet and phone access, and pursuing a peaceful resolution through dialogue."
Background: Last week, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military offensive in the country's northern Tigray region after accusing the TPLF of an attack on an ENDF base. The week-long conflict has resulted in hundreds of deaths and displaced thousands in the region.