President Biden is sending one of his Senate allies to speak to the Ethiopian and African Union as a crisis is growing.
ALEX ROSSI: The Ethiopian government is calling this a law and order operation. But it's clear the conflict here is far more than that, with widespread evidence of war crimes. Sky News has documented numerous human rights abuses in the Tigray. How concerning is the deteriorating situation there? And what more can be done diplomatically to end the violence?
STEPHANE DUJARRIC: We're extremely concerned about the situation in Tigray. Whether it's on the humanitarian, or whether it's on the human rights. And that is why we have consistently called for greater access for both.
ALEX ROSSI: The United States says it is already clear what is happening on the ground. It's accusing forces aligned with the government of systematically forcing people from their homes.
ANTONY BLINKEN: They need to come out And a force that will not abuse the human rights of the people of Tigray or commit acts of ethnic cleansing, which we've seen.
ALEX ROSSI: The emergency in Ethiopia is now a top priority for the US. Senator Chris Coons is arriving in the country as an envoy, and humanitarian aid has been ramped up dramatically. Here at the State Department there is growing concern about the situation in Ethiopia. The fear is if the violence worsens, it could destabilize the entire region.
It's why officials are now working with their European counterparts to try and forge a diplomatic consensus. But it's more than that, because it signals that it's no longer America first under a Biden administration. The US is back as a global leader. And experts say, without a broad diplomatic agreement, the crisis will be impossible to resolve.
ADOTEI AKWEI: I don't think one country, even the United States, is going to be able to do what needs to be done. This needs to be a whole of Africa initiative, as well as a whole of the human rights mechanisms initiative. Because the tensions there are so deep-seated. And right now, they're literally at a boiling point.
ALEX ROSSI: The danger, of course, is that with trust broken on all sides, a diplomatic breakthrough will take time to broker. And that is time people living amidst this violent chaos do not have. Alex Rossi, Sky News, Washington.