All sides in Tigray war guilty of crimes against humanity says Amnesty

NAIROBI – Every party involved in the war in northern Ethiopia has committed crimes against humanity, Amnesty International said on Wednesday (26), calling for a probe into abuses in the nearly two-year conflict.

“Documented violations of human rights violations… (include) rapes, sexual violence, (…) lootings, torture and extrajudicial killings,” Fisseha Tekle, an Amnesty specialist on Ethiopia and Eritrea, told a press conference in Nairobi.

“All the parties, Tigrayans, Amharas, Eritreans, have committed serious human rights violations, including crimes against humanity,” he said.

At present, “we are ruling out genocide, just because the level of evidence is not enough at the moment,” he said.

The war began on November 4, 2020, when Abiy accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the region’s ruling party, of attacking army camps.

He sent in troops, supported at that time by forces from Eritrea, Ethiopia’s neighbour to the north. The conflict see-sawed, spreading from Tigray into the Amhara and Afar regions.

As many as half a million people have died, according to a US estimate last week, while the UN says more than two million people have been displaced and hundreds of thousands driven close to famine.

Fighting resumed between the warring sides in August, shattering a five-month truce that had allowed limited amounts of aid into the battered region.

The flareup spurred peace talks that began on Tuesday (25) in the South African capital of Pretoria, led by the African Union. The talks are scheduled to wind up on Sunday.

Fisseha called for an international inquiry to ensure that violations did not go unpunished.

“Without justice, there can’t be a sustainable peace,” he said. “Justice has to be a central element of the peace talks.”

– Agence France-Presse


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