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Massacres continue and risk of new “large-scale” atrocities — Global Issues

The latest report from the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia documents atrocities perpetrated “by all parties to the conflict” since November 3, 2020 – the date of the start of the armed conflict in Tigray – including massacres , rapes, famine, destruction of schools. and medical facilities, forced displacement and arbitrary detention.

Commission Chairman Mohamed Chande Othman said violent clashes were now “almost national in scale” and highlighted “alarming” reports of violations against civilians in the Amhara region as well as atrocities in progress.

“The situation in Oromia, Amhara and other parts of the country – including repeated violations, entrenched impunity and increasing state securitization – poses significant risks of further atrocities and crimes,” he said. he warned.

Amhara: “massive arbitrary detentions”

In the Amhara region, where the government announced a state of emergency last month, the Commission said it had received reports of “mass arbitrary detentions” of civilians and “at least one drone strike » carried out by the State.

Several urban centers in the region are subject to a curfew and a militarized “command post” system without civilian oversight has been deployed. The commissioners said “such structures are often accompanied by serious violations.”

“We are deeply alarmed by the deteriorating security situation in Amhara and the continued presence of risk factors for atrocity crimes,” they said.

Humanitarian needs in the region have increased. In early August, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the people of Amhara “cannot endure another conflict,” noting that nearly two million people were in need of health assistance – a a situation made even more complex by the influx of refugees from war-torn Sudan.

Tigray: intergenerational trauma

Regarding Tigray, Commissioner Radhika Coomaraswamy warned that rape and sexual violence against women and girls by Eritrean forces was “continuous” in the region.

“The continued presence of Eritrean troops in Ethiopia is a clear sign not only of an entrenched policy of impunity, but also of continued support and tolerance by the federal government for such violations “, she said.

The commissioner highlighted the trauma caused by the atrocities committed in Tigray, which “are likely to persist for generations”.

A “flawed” judicial process

Commissioners called for a “credible” process of truth, justice, reconciliation and healing, while highlighting the shortcomings of the consultation process initiated by the Ethiopian government.

Their report claims that the Ethiopian government “failed to effectively prevent or investigate violations” and instead launched a “flawed” transitional justice process in which victims “remain neglected.”

The Commission

The International Commission was established by the UN Human Rights Council in December 2021 to conduct an impartial investigation into violations committed in Ethiopia since the start of the conflict in Tigray in November 2020.

It is made up of three human rights experts appointed by the President of the Council, who are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work.


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