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April 21, 2021
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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights alleges rights violations in Tigray

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights claims to have ‘credible’ source regarding human rights violation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia where the Ethiopian government has been undertaking law enforcement operations after TPLF forces attacked army bases of the Northern Command

UN High Commission For HR

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High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said on Thursday that “Deeply distressing reports of sexual and gender-based violence, extrajudicial killings, widespread destruction and looting of public and private property by all parties continue to be shared with us, as well as reports of continued fighting in central Tigray in particular.”

The Commissioner claims that there are credible sources that international Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law were violated in the Tigray region of Ethiopia after the outbreak of the conflict between Ethiopian government and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces in November 2020.  However,  “credible sources” are not highlighted in the UN news report

Among human rights violations cited in the UN news, which was published on March 4, is the killings of eight protestors in Adigrat between February 9 and 10 but again the sources which are labelled as “reliable” are unspecified. 

The High Commissioner also raised 136 rape cases. It is to be recalled that Ethiopian Human Rights Commission already reported that there were 108 rape cases across the Tigray region of Ethiopia following what the Ethiopian government calls law enforcement operation, and the figure were verified from law enforcement and hospital sources. The Ethiopian government said that it has already launched an investigation, and invited international experts to participate in it. 

Michelle Bachelet has called for a  probe into the human rights violations in Tigray region for which she claims to have “credible sources.”  

Much of the human rights violations claim is being projected by pro-Tigray People’s Liberation Front is busted by sources who seem to have connections on the ground. Based on social media campaigns that seeks to expose the campaigns by TPLF supporters, the latest example in that is the story of a teenager who was allegedly shot by an Eritrean soldier as she was trying to escape rape attempt and her arm was amputated.  An Emerging story from the anti-TPLF support group indicates that the teenager was actually armed by TPLF and was on a combat mission from which she emerged as a wounded TPLF soldier. 

Meanwhile, AFP reported on Thursday citing unnamed diplomats that there was no agreement at the UN Security Council session on Tigray. 

Ethiopian government law enforcement operation started on November 4, 2020, after TPLF forces launched what they called a “preemptive attack” against several bases of the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force. 

This week Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration has announced that distribution of humanitarian assistance and rebuilding the Tigray region are priority agenda items for his government. According to a government report, so far more than 3.1 million people in the region have received humanitarian assistance. 

The Ethiopian government is yet to respond to the claims of the High Commissioner of UN Human Rights.

There are however some reports that dispersed TPLF loyalist forces in the region have complicated the security situation in the region.  Among other things, they have killed at least six Adigrat University Students as they were travelling from Mekelle to Addis Ababa.

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