Human Rights & Public Liberties

Human Rights & Public Liberties

Published on: 13 Jan, 2021

The human rights abuses in the Tigray region

Published on: 13 September, 2021
76,500 people were displaced in Afar and an estimated 200,000 in Amhara/Aljazeera.

76,500 people were displaced in Afar and an estimated 200,000 in Amhara/Aljazeera.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has delivered an update on her investigation into human rights abuses in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.
“Fighting has continued unabated and has expanded to neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions. Together with other pockets of intercommunal violence, the conflict risks spilling over to the whole Horn of Africa. In the last few months, mass detentions, killings, systematic looting, and sexual violence have continued to create an atmosphere of fear and erosion of living conditions that resulted in the forced displacement of the Tigrayan civilian population. Civilian suffering is widespread, and impunity is pervasive. Even with the changing dynamics in the conflict, there has been one constant: multiple and severe reports of alleged gross violations of human rights, humanitarian and refugee law by all parties,” Michelle Bachelet said today.
Bachelet started the investigation in March, amid fears of war crimes in Tigray. The state-run Ethiopian Human Rights Commission joined the investigation, following demands by Ethiopia’s government. EHRC chief commissioner Daniel Bekele will also issue a statement.
Allegations of atrocities surfaced soon after Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed sent troops into Tigray last November to dislodge its government. The suspects include Ethiopian forces and their allies – Eritrean troops and militia from the neighbouring Amhara region. Tigrayan forces also have been accused.
“Since gaining control of parts of Tigray and expanding to neighbouring regions, reports have also identified Tigrayan forces as perpetrators of human rights abuses. During the period under review, the Tigrayan forces have allegedly been responsible for attacks on civilians, including indiscriminate killings resulting in nearly 76,500 people displaced in Afar and an estimated 200,000 in Amhara. More than 200 individuals have reportedly been killed in the most recent clashes in these regions, and 88 individuals, including children, have been injured. On 5 August, Tigrayan forces allegedly attacked and killed displaced people, mainly women, children, and older people, sheltering in a camp in Galikoma Kebele, in the Afar Region.” Michelle Bachelet added.
The U.N. says the investigators spoke to victims and witnesses, regional and national authorities, civil society organisations, religious institutions, medical and judicial authorities and humanitarian agencies. It investigated alleged incidents in Mekelle, Wukro, Samre, Alamata, Bora, Maichew, Dansha, Maikadra, Humera, Gondar, and Bahir Dar (both in neighbouring Amhara region), as well as in Addis Ababa.
The investigators’ final report is due to be published on November 1st.

Aljazeera/48th session of the Human Rights Council.