According to United Nations investigations, serious human rights violations have been committed in the conflict in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia.
This may involve war crimes and crimes against humanity, a joint commission of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission reported in Geneva on Wednesday.
The team documented murder, torture, sexual assault, violence against refugees and expulsion of civilians. Perpetrators came from the ranks of the Ethiopian and Eritrean armed forces and the Tigray independence movement.
The conflict in Tigray is characterized by “extreme brutality,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. “The violations and abuses we have documented are so serious that they emphasize the need to hold the perpetrators on all sides to account.” In addition, the report says the civilian population continues to find itself between the fronts of the warring parties.
In early November 2020, the military conflict erupted when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed began to oust the People’s Liberation Front TPLF from power in Tigray. Since early August, the conflict has spread to the neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara. The situation is terrible for the people, as humanitarian aides barely get into the area.
The Commission of Inquiry visited several areas in Tigray and spoke to 269 victims and witnesses but was not granted access to all of them.