The United States on Wednesday urged an immediate end to hostilities in Ethiopia’s Tigray region after the government ordered a military operation in response to an attack.
“We are saddened by the tragic loss of life and urge immediate action to restore the peace and de-escalate tensions,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
“The protection of civilian safety and security is essential,” he said in a statement, issued amid political tumult in the United States after its presidential elections.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, said he was ordering a riposte after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the regional ruling party, attacked a military camp, causing “many martyrs.”
Pompeo said the United States was “deeply concerned” by the attack in Tigray, a region with long-running tensions with authorities in Addis Ababa.
The government also declared a six-month state of emergency Wednesday in Tigray, where internet and phone connections were down.