UN frowns at ‘extreme brutality’ in Ethiopia Tigray war

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The UN rights chief on Wednesday condemned the “extreme brutality” of the year-long war in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, stating that a recent state of emergency would fuel the situation.

While speaking in Geneva, Michelle Bachelet expressed the need to bring to justice perpetrators of a vast array of rights abuses, including horrific killings and the gang rape of mothers in front of their children.

“Civilians in Tigray have been subjected to brutal violence and suffering,” she told reporters.

The “extreme brutality” underscores “the need to hold perpetrators accountable on all sides,” she said.

A joint investigation by her office and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) into abuses warned of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by all sides during the Tigray conflict.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops into the northern region in November 2020 to detain and disarm the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), whom he accused of attacking army camps.

Since then, thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, and hundreds of thousands of others have been forced into famine-like conditions, according to the UN.

Wednesday’s combined report, which covers the period from last November through June, when the Ethiopian government acknowledged a unilateral ceasefire, found evidence of “serious abuses and violations” by all sides.

There were “reasonable grounds to believe that a number of these violations may amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes,” it added.

Bachelet raised alarm that the situation has since worsened, particularly since Ethiopia issued a nationwide state of emergency on Tuesday amid fears Tigrayan rebels were heading for the capital.

Incase you never know, the Tigray War is an ongoing civil war that began just before midnight on 3 November 2020 in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. The Special Forces of the Tigray Regional government are fighting the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), the latter being aided by the Ethiopian Federal Police, regional police, and gendarmerie forces of the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions with the involvement of Eritrean Defence Forces(EDF). So many lives have been lost and presently now, Ethiopia is still in insecure.

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