The Government of Ethiopia will carefully examine the content of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch’s report on allegedly committed crimes in Welkait. A cursory look at the report indicates that it covers sensitive political changes in the country, peace and security, and internal boundary matters, in addition to so-called findings on grave allegations of human rights. It makes allegations of ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The Government of Ethiopia is committed to holding accountable all those responsible for violations of human rights and humanitarian law. It is for this reason the Government established the Inter-ministerial Taskforce following the publication of the Joint Investigation by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Taskforce has held its second meeting today issuing various directives to expedite the investigation process. The investigating teams will closely examine this report and give it due consideration.
The Government, however, questions the validity of numerous political matters the two organizations felt necessary or in their remit to address. Firstly, matters of internal boundaries are dealt with by constitutionally mandated bodies. It is unwise for the activist organizations to pass judgments on such matters. They would know their report will now be used for political purposes. This attitude is certainly not acceptable. They failed to exercise due diligence.
Read The Amnesty and HRW report here
‘We Will Erase You From This Land’: Crimes Against Humanity and Ethnic Cleansing in Ethiopia’s Western Tigray Zone
The report, ‘We Will Erase You From This Land’: Crimes Against Humanity and Ethnic Cleansing in Ethiopia’s Western Tigray Zone, documents how newly-appointed officials in Western Tigray and security forces from the neighbouring Amhara region, with the acquiescence and possible participation of Ethiopian federal forces, systematically expelled several hundred thousand Tigrayan civilians from their homes using threats, unlawful killings, sexual violence, mass arbitrary detention, pillage, forcible transfer, and the denial of humanitarian assistance. These widespread and systematic attacks against the Tigrayan civilian population amount to crimes against humanity, as well as war crimes.
The Government is also concerned about the ethnic undertones of the report that seem to apportion blame disproportionally while trying to exculpate others. This fuels hatred and makes reconciliation and healing more difficult. Responsibility is individual. All those responsible for the alleged violations will be held accountable. Sensational and journalistic reporting discredits the bulky report. Simply blaming one group does not serve the cause of human rights and peace. Other weaknesses in the report are also very apparent. They rely largely on alleged testimonies from certain groups. The Government investigation team will examine this report despite such fatal weakness and unfair attack against the gallant forces of ENDF and allied forces.
Read the Gondar university Investigation here
Investigation reveals killing of over 60,000 Amharas
Over 60,000 ethnic Amharas were killed by TPLF during the past 40 years in Welkait Tegede, and Telemt areas, the University of Gondar (UoG) research group announced. The finding of the research that the group conducted has shown as the number of people massacred, displaced and made to disappear is equivalent to 75 percent of the total population.
“To be frank, eyewitnesses are still afraid to talk about the entire atrocity and they are unhappy to indicate locations of mass graves, but we have retrieved the information through time. After all, we have discovered sites of some mass graves in places called Adino, Ghanem, across Tekeze River, Telemt- FiyelWuha, and inSeytan Meta. …we also have information that three mass graves are located in Dedebit, Tigray State.”
This report comes after the indefinite humanitarian truce came into effect and aid has started to flow to the Tigray region. The Government expressed hope that this will lay the foundation for genuine efforts to end the conflict peacefully. The report unfortunately strays into making recommendations unhelpful for any peace effort. Nonetheless, the Government reiterates its commitment to seriously examine all allegations of violations of human rights and humanitarian law and make its findings public. Dispatch