The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) is gravely concerned about the current armed conflict unfolding in the Tigray region, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
Following the attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defence Forcesby the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) on 4th November 2020, the Federal Government launched a military offensive against the TPLF regime in the Tigray region.
The Commission notes with despair that civilians have reportedly been massacred and more than 30,000 Ethiopians have been forcibly displaced to neighbouring Sudan.
The Commission has learned with alarm the brutal killing of some 600 civilians in Maikadra as reported in the preliminary report of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The Commission calls for the victims’ rehabilitation and holding of perpetrators accountable at the national or international level.
The Commission is further concerned following the warning issued by theFederal army urging civilians to leave the capital of the Tigray region for their safety before its final offensive.
Such critical situation poses a threat to the wellbeing of civilian populations’ fundamental human rights and leaves them at the mercy of a serious humanitarian crisis.
The Commission reminds the Government of Ethiopia that the provisions under international humanitarian law and international human rights law must be upheld and cautions all parties involved in this crisis against war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.
The Commission reiterates its call to both parties to engage in a dialogue, as proposed by the African Union and other stakeholders, with a view to finding lasting, peaceful and mutually acceptable solutions in the best interests of the population.
Done on the margins of the virtual 67th Ordinary Session
November 26, 2020