US Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the US’ concern Thursday about the situation in the Tigray region during a telephone call with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the two officials emphasized the importance of the US-Ethiopia relationship.

“Secretary Blinken expressed our grave concern about the humanitarian crisis in the Tigray region and urged immediate, full, and unhindered humanitarian access to prevent further loss of life,” he said in a statement.

Blinken reaffirmed the US’ commitment to Ethiopia’s reform agenda and support for upcoming national elections, as well as regional peace and security, said Price.

A conflict broke erupted in November after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces, once a dominant party on the federal level, captured a military base in Tigray.

Ethiopia’s prime minister responded by ordering a security operation.

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