All the possible sides of Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict have violated the conventions of international human rights. Some of this may amount to crimes against humanity.
Crimes like torture, rape, executions, and attacks against the refugees and the displaced people have taken place. A joint investigation of the Ethiopian Human Rights Office says that there can also be some evidence for war crimes.
It took place when the Ethiopian PM Abiy had ordered an offensive against the regional forces in the region of northern Tigray.
Government forces have initially routed the rebels. However, things changed in June, with the Tigrayan fighters making territorial gains. They are now approaching the capital Addis Abada.
On Tuesday, the government of the country declared a state of emergency hours as the residents of the capital urged them to arm themselves. The war has successfully created a humanitarian crisis. It has caused the death of thousands of people. Millions of people flew, and many in Tigray are facing famine conditions.
The High Commissioner of UN Michelle Bachelet said that Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict is an instance of extreme brutality and calling for a lasting ceasefire.
“There are reasonable grounds to believe all parties to the conflict… either directly attacked civilians and civilian objects, such as houses, schools, hospitals, and places of worship, or carried out indiscriminate attacks resulting in civilian casualties and destruction or damage to civilian objects,” the report says.
There are instances of unlawful and extrajudicial killings. The report further said how a youth group of Tigrayan Samurai killed 200+ Amhara civilians in Mai Kadra last year. Revenge killing took place against the Tigrayans. The Eritrean army has joined in the conflict. In Aksum Central Tigray. the soldiers have killed more than 100s civilians.
“War crimes may have been committed since there are reasonable grounds to believe that persons taking no direct part in hostilities were wilfully killed by parties to the conflict,” the report states.
The report also cites the case of sexual violence that took place from both sides. It had targeted men, women, boys, and girls. A 19 years old woman had been detained and raped for three months. The organization has called on the Ethiopian government to conduct an effective investigation.
PM Abiy said that he had ordered the military in response to an attack on the base housing military troops. The renewed ground offensive of the federal government includes the use of airstrikes which has failed to halt the territorial gains of the rebels.