Ethiopia: News - Ethiopia, UN Rights Commissions Launch Joint Investigation in Tigray Amidst Mounting Evidence of Atrocities

Ethiopian refugees fleeing clashes in the country's northern Tigray region cross the border into Hamdayet, Sudan.

Addis Ababa — The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have agreed to conduct a joint investigation into the human rights violations and abuses allegedly committed by all parties in the context of the Tigray conflict, as part of the much-needed accountability process for the victims, according to a joint statement released today.

The announcement to launch the joint investigation comes amidst mounting evidence of atrocities being committed in Tigray against civilians including reports of extrajudicial execusion by Ethiopian and Eritrean armed forces currently participating in the war. "The latest incident took place on the road from Mekele to Adigrat, where three MSF staff members were travelling in a clearly marked MSF vehicle. Along the journey they encountered what appeared to be the aftermath of an ambush of an Ethiopian military convoy, by another armed group, in which soldiers were injured and killed. Military vehicles were still on fire," MSF said in a statement released last night. "We are horrified by the continued violence in Tigray."

"The EHRC and OHCHR have been monitoring closely the human rights situation since the start of the conflict on 4 November 2020. Both organizations remain concerned about the reports of serious human rights violations and abuses and the devastating impact of the conflict on the civilian population. With multiple actors involved in the conflict and the gravity of the reported violations, an objective, independent investigation is urgently required," the statement said.

The agreement to collaborate in a joint investigation is the result of an ongoing partnership and engagement between the two organizations, founded on shared objectives to advance and strengthen respect and protection of human rights as well as accountability for violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law committed by all parties in the context of the Tigray conflict. Such investigations are within the existing mandate of both organizations.

The deployment will start as soon as possible for an initial period of three months. Dispatch

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