Ethiopia: UN human rights chief underscores urgency of impartial, international investigation into Tigray atrocities
“Given the complexity and gravity of the situation, an UN-led investigation, rather than a joint investigation with Ethiopian institutions, is urgently needed to establish the truth and lay the foundations for accountability. There is no time to lose – work on this must begin now, before evidence could be destroyed and memories begin to fade.”
In her statement, Bachelet emphasized the need for “an objective, independent assessment” of the situation. She reported that “preliminary analysis of the information received indicates that serious violations of international law, possibly amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity, may have been committed by multiple actors in the conflict, including: the Ethiopian National Defence Forces, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, Eritrean armed forces, and Amhara Regional Forces and affiliated militia.”
Amnesty International welcomed the High Commissioner’s call for other independent human rights monitors to be provided access to Tigray “with a view to establishing the facts and contributing to accountability”. The organization requested access to Tigray on 3 December 2020 and is still waiting for a response.
Closed session at UN Security Council
The High Commissioner’s statement comes hours before the UN Security Council is due to hold an informal discussion of the human rights and humanitarian crisis in Tigray.
“Four months into one of the world’s gravest humanitarian and human rights crises in Tigray, the conflict has still not been added to the UN Security Council’s formal agenda. This has to change,” said Sarah Jackson.
“We also reiterate our appeal to UN member states to launch an investigation into the situation during the current session of the UN Human Rights Council.”