Ethiopia under investigations over war crimes


NEW YORK - Ethiopia will now have to have a serious investigative agency from the United Nations over the war against humanity in the country, which has been struggling with instability for the last year.

On Friday, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to establish a council, which will now look into the serious violation of human rights in the country, in a war that has lasted for the last one year.

For the last several months, the federal republic of Ethiopia has been at war with the Tigray rebels who are controlling most parts of Ethiopia until the federal forces started pushing northwards in recent weeks.

Ethiopia lashed out at what it called a "neocolonialist mentality" following the EU-led effort to have a special session of the UN Human Rights Council called to address war crimes that may have occurred in Ethiopia.

The resolution was brought forward to a vote by the EU. The resolution passed with 21 states in favor, 15 opposed, including Russia and China, and 11 abstentions.

Nada al-Nashif, the UN deputy high commissioner for human rights, told the session Friday, "Our office continues to receive credible reports of severe human rights violations and abuses by all parties."

"The humanitarian impact of the conflict is increasingly dramatic," al-Nashif added.

During the Friday voting, the 47-member forum in Geneva, Switzerland approved the recent decision to investigate Ethiopia. Several African nations such as Senegal and Sudan abstained from the vote, one indication of their concerns regarding abuses as they did not vote no.

The panel of experts will probe allegations of rights violations and abuse by all parties to the conflict.

A report released last month that was a joint investigation between Ethiopia's Human Rights Commission and the UN's Human Rights Office was viewed as insufficient by Western observers.

At least 2 million people have been displaced by the war, with ten million facing food insecurity and possible starvation.

The international investigation

Laetitia Bader, the Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch, told DW, "This is something we have been calling for for a long time."

"The gravity of the crimes necessitates a thorough investigation," she added.

Tigray Defense Forces have been pushing further south but the Ethiopia National Defense Forces [ENDF] have tamed them, forcing a protracted battle that has lasted for the last 13 months in the country.

Somalia, which is a close ally of Ethiopia, voted against the resolution, in what could shape the politics of the Horn of Africa nation. Outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo has maintained relations with PM Abiy Ahmed for the past3 years.


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