Human Lives Human Rights: The United Nations’ Human Rights Council on Friday voted to set up an independent investigation into abuses in war-hit Ethiopia.
All sides in the brutal 13-month conflict in Ethiopia have been committing severe human rights violations amid a deepening humanitarian crisis said Nada al-Nashif, the deputy rights chief, speaking at the virtual one-day session on Friday.
Al-Nashif warned of increasing hatred, violence and discrimination in Ethiopia, which she said could lead to “generalized violence, with major implications, not only for millions of people in Ethiopia, but also across the region”.
The European Union, which requested the session, is pushing alongside other members to launch the international probe into abuses committed by all warring sides since November 2020.
Meanwhile, the Ethiopian government slammed the decision to hold the special session and has urged countries to vote against the draft text.
“We call on all council members to … stand against short-sighted interests and refuse the politicisation of human rights by rejecting this resolution,” said ambassador Zembe Kebede, accusing the Geneva-based body of having been “hijacked” and used as an “instrument of political pressure”.
“My government will not cooperate with any mechanisms that may be imposed on it because this is … a deliberate destabilization effort.”
It must be noted that the conflict in Ethiopia has left tens of thousands of people, displaced more than two million people and pushed hundreds of thousands to the brink of famine, according to UN estimates.
Across the country, Ethnic Tigrayans have been subjected to arbitrary detentions, while civilians in Tigray have described gang rapes, human-caused famine and mass expulsions.
Between 5,000 and 7,000 people swept up under a new state of emergency remain detained, most of them Tigrayans. Many are detained incommunicado or in unknown locations.
The Tigrayan forces have also been accused of abuses, including killings and rapes, after taking the fighting into Ethiopia’s neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions in recent months.