Ethiopia under investigation for war crimes
NEW YORK – Ethiopia will now need to have a serious United Nations investigative agency into the war on humanity in the country, which has struggled with instability for a year.
On Friday, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to create a council, which will now examine serious human rights violations in the country, in a war that has been going on for a year.
For several months, the Federal Republic of Ethiopia has been at war with rebels in Tigray who control most parts of Ethiopia until federal forces start pushing north in recent weeks.
Ethiopia has castigated what it called a ‘neocolonialist mentality’ following EU-led efforts to convene a special session of the UN Human Rights Council to deal with war crimes which could have occurred in Ethiopia.
The resolution was put to the EU vote. The resolution was passed with 21 states in favor, 15 against, including Russia and China, and 11 abstentions.
Nada al-Nashif, the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the session on Friday: “Our office continues to receive credible reports of serious human rights violations and abuse by all parties “.
“The humanitarian impact of the conflict is increasingly dramatic,” al-Nashif added.
In Friday’s vote, the 47-member forum in Geneva, Switzerland, endorsed the recent decision to investigate Ethiopia. Several African countries such as Senegal and Sudan abstained in the vote, an indication of their concerns about abuse as they did not vote no.
The expert group will investigate allegations of rights violations and abuses by all parties to the conflict.
A report released last month that was a joint investigation between the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the UN Human Rights Office was considered insufficient by Western observers.
At least 2 million people have been displaced by the war, 10 million of whom face food insecurity and famine.
The international survey
Laetitia Bader, Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch, told DW: “This is something we’ve been calling for for a long time.
“The seriousness of the crimes requires a thorough investigation,” she added.
The Tigray defense forces pushed further south, but the Ethiopian national defense forces [ENDF] tamed them, forcing a protracted battle that has lasted for the past 13 months in the country.
Somalia, which is Ethiopia’s close ally, voted against the resolution, which could shape the politics of the Horn of Africa nation. Outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo has maintained relations with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for 3 years.