The United Nations has raised concerns about an increased danger of genocide and atrocities being committed in Ethiopia.
Alice Wairimu Nderitu stated that the reports of incidents in Ethiopia are concerning and demand action. She specifically emphasized the presence of risk factors for genocide and related atrocities in the country, urging the global community to take notice.
There have been reports of entire families being killed, with relatives being forced to witness terrible acts against their loved ones, while entire communities have been forced to leave or have been removed from their residences.
The Special Adviser stated that we should never accept the suffering of innocent civilians as inevitable. Instead, it should strengthen our dedication to preventing impunity and prioritizing all possible prevention measures.
Ms. Nderitu referenced her previous reports regarding the state of affairs in the nation during the past three years. She also mentioned the 14 September report by the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia, which provided evidence of mistreatment of civilians in the Amhara region and continuous violations occurring in Tigray.
She is urging for an urgent halt to the various abuses committed by those involved in the conflict since November 3, 2020. These include large-scale killings, sexual violence, starvation, destruction of educational and medical institutions, forced displacement, and unjust imprisonment.
She pointed out that the Commission’s report also condemned the conditions in Oromia, Amhara, and other regions of the country. This includes ongoing violations, a lack of accountability, and a heightened focus on state security, all of which pose a significant risk of future crimes.
The report further verifies the worries expressed by the Special Adviser in previous statements. It mentions that the mistreatment of Tigrayan civilians often involved offensive and disrespectful language, using derogatory terms such as “junta,” “woyane,” and “agame” during the assaults.
The Special Adviser stated that the individuals responsible have expressed their desire to target a particular ethnic group. This includes dehumanizing Tigrayans and expressing intentions to harm or eliminate them based on their gender or reproductive capabilities. The Special Adviser believes that this is a clear indication of the risk of genocide, which is currently increasing.
She expressed serious concern about the findings of the Commission report, which stated that there were numerous cases of rape, including group rape, and other forms of sexual violence against Amhara and Agew women and girls in at least 11 towns and villages.
The Special Adviser strongly denounced these actions. It is crucial for the violence to cease and for innocent civilians to not be deliberately harmed. The ongoing hostilities are not just a war between the opposing parties, but also a war against civilians.
Crimes against humanity
A year ago, a ceasefire agreement in the country has not been successful as there are still ongoing violent clashes. There are also increasing reports of acts of violence, war crimes, and crimes against humanity being committed.
On 24 September, the historic city of Gondar in Amhara reportedly saw heavy urban combat when local militias known as the Fano entered the city, prompting intense clashes with the Federal Forces.
Ms. Nderitu expressed concern over reports of ongoing serious abuses by Eritrean troops and Amhara militia in Tigray, specifically the targeted rape and sexual violence against women and girls. She also acknowledged the numerous credible reports of violations against Amhara civilians since the state of emergency was declared in August 2023, and called for an immediate end to these actions.
The source of the information is the United Nations website.