A rare collaboration by the U.N. human rights office with the government-created Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, was released a day before the war’s one-year mark and as Africa’s second most populous country enters a new state of emergency with rival Tigray forces threatening the capital.
The UN rights chief on Wednesday slammed the extreme brutality characterising the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, following a joint UN-Ethiopian report warning of possible “crimes against humanity” by all sides.
“The joint investigation team has reasonable grounds to believe that a number of these violations may amount to crime against humanity and war crimes which require further investigation to insure accountability,” said Daniel Bekele, EHRC Commissioner.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet insisted on the need to bring perpetrators of a vast array of rights abuses to justice.
“It is vital that all parties heed the repeated calls to end hostilities and seek a lasting ceasefire. As ever, there is an urgent need for a serious inclusive dialogue with the genuine intentions on all sides to reduce tensions, avoid more civilian suffering and find peaceful solutions…”
The collaboration between the UN rights office and the government-created EHRC also raised concerns about the impartiality of the findings.
Those fears deepened after Ethiopia expelled seven UN officials last month, including one of the UN rights office’s investigators.