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Human Rights Watch confirmed the presence of continuous fighting and grave human rights violations in northern Ethiopia one year after the signing of the cessation of hostilities agreement

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In a statement issued on November the 2nd 2023, Human Rights Watch confirmed the presence of continuous fighting and grave human rights violations in northern Ethiopia one year after the signing of the cessation of hostilities agreement.

“While the Ethiopian government and its international partners tout the tremendous progress made in the past year, civilians in conflict areas continue to bear the brunt of atrocities,” said Latisha Bader, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

“Fighting has intensified in other regions of the country, as past violators repeat patterns of abuses without consequences,” added Latisha Bader.

Human Rights Watch added though the agreement outlines key elements on the implementation process, the organization doubts its practicality for its lack of clarity on criminal accountability for crimes committed.

Human Rights Watch criticized the African Union monitoring mechanism for focusing only on disarmament of Tigrian fighters heavy and medium weapons but not including rights and gender monitors or public reporting on violations of the agreement.

Human Rights Watch reiterates Eritrean forces and Amhara regional forces and militias known as Fano have continued to commit several crimes against the residents in the areas under their control.

Human Rights Watch added that with victims of human rights violations expressing their lack of confidence in local institutions, and with continued violence in the country, the United Nations and concerned governments should continue to put pressure on Ethiopian government to fulfill its obligations to ensure the protection of civilians and set clear standards to ensure that victims receive justice.

Governments supporting Ethiopia’s fragile truce cannot afford to look away as crises in Ethiopia mount, Bader said. Ethiopia’s many victims deserve a future that is not marred by recurring abuses and impunity,” Bader suggested.