Ethiopia - Security - War

Ethiopia: UN concerned about atrocities on civilians

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

The United Nations is urging the world not to look away from the situation in Ethiopia where civilians are caught in the crossfire.

Civilians in Ethiopia are paying a heavy price for the insecurity in many parts of the country. 

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry, in a statement made public on Thursday, reported alleged violations of international human rights law, humanitarian law and refugee law.

“A little over a week ago, the Commission received reports of the death of between 200 and 500 civilians in an alleged massacre in Western Oromia which we are investigating,” the Commission’s Chairperson, Kaari Betty Murungi, told the UN Human Rights Council.

According to the UN investigators, the spread of violence is fueled by ethnic and gender-based hate speech that is a harbinger of further atrocious crimes against innocent civilians, especially women and children.

On the ground, the UN noted, the spread of the conflict is exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia and the wider region. 

Continuing violence and restrictions imposed by the various parties have resulted in a complex humanitarian crisis. 

This, coupled with drought, has exacerbated the misery of millions of Ethiopians and driven tens of thousands more to flee to neighboring countries.

“These events and the protracted humanitarian crisis, including the blockage of food and medical aid, supplies and services, pose a serious risk to the Ethiopian civilian population and the region,” she said, noting that obstruction of humanitarian assistance “may constitute serious crimes.”

Finally, the Commission urged the Ethiopian government to prosecute those responsible for these violations under international law because “survivors and victims are demanding justice.”

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