HRW: Evidence of human rights abuses in Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict

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Human Rights Watch says there is evidence of human right abuses against civilians from all parties in the conflict raging in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

According to the rights group, “the conflict has taken a heavy toll on the region’s civilian population” with both federal and Tigray forces facing accusations of human rights abuses from locals. Investigations carried out by HRW finds evidence that all parties involved are responsible for the deaths of civilians caught up in the regional conflict.

HRW find evidence of human rights abuses

According to Human Rights Watch, residents caught up in the fighting between Ethiopian federal soldiers and local Tigray forces have suffered grave rights abuses throughout weeks of violence in the region.

“Witnesses described significant civilian deaths during the initial offensives and fighting. Medical professionals, notably in Humera, described being overwhelmed by the influx of injured civilians and bodies of those who had been killed in the heavy shelling,” the rights group reports.

HRW investigations also cite reports from locals that suspected TPLF members, fighters and supporters were killed by federal forces and their allies. However, local business people and farmers were also allegedly targeted, as well as some families attempting to flee violence in the area.

Following its investigations, HRW is calling upon the Ethiopian government to investigate reports of human rights abuses during the conflict and allow international participation to ensure transparency is maintained throughout.

“Given the gravity of allegations of abuses by all parties to the conflict, as well as the failure of the Ethiopian federal government to follow through on past commitments to investigate abuses during unrest, international involvement in investigations into events in the Tigray region is key,” the rights group insists.

HRW recommends that the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, is allowed to send a fact-finding team to the Tigray region where it can document the conduct if all parties involved in the conflict and ensure that any evidence of abuses is preserved for full investigation.

Featured image: HRW.org

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.