UN experts say warring parties committing atrocities in Ethiopia’s Tigray

Experts of the United Nation’s International Commission of Human Rights said Monday that both conflicting sides in Ethiopia’s Tigray committed violations amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“The report concludes that there are reasonable grounds to believe that violations, such as extrajudicial killings, rape, sexual violence, and starvation of the civilian population as a method of warfare have been committed in Ethiopia since 3 November 2020,” the Commission reported.

The Commission released the report following the resumption of hostilities between forces backing the Tigray authorities and the Ethiopian government and its allies.

The Commission also warned that renewed conflict increased the risk of “further atrocity crimes” in Tigray and in areas beyond Tigray and Ethiopia’s borders.

According to the report, the government and its allies denied its people access to basic services for more than a year, including access to the internet, banking, and electricity, which affected about 20 million people about three-quarters were women and children.

“The combined effect of these measures, which remain in effect more than a year later, has forced much of the population in Tigray to eat less and sell the harvest and reproductive livestock. Sources also reported an increase in desperate means to survive, such as child marriage and child labor, human trafficking, and transactional sex,” the report said.

Meanwhile, Getachew Reda, a spokesperson for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), said they “have always maintained” that Ethiopia’s government was responsible for crimes against humanity in Tigray.

In an earlier statement, the Commission called on all parties to immediately “cease hostilities, to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, and to return to the process of dialogue.”

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