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UN mandated Human Rights Experts call on the international community to step up efforts to protect civilians, hold perpetrators of gross human right violations accountable

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On a final report released yesterday, the International Commission of Human Rights expert on Ethiopia noted that the international community must step up efforts to protect civilians and hold perpetrators of gross human rights violations accountable.

The report gave the most detailed picture yet of human rights violation and abuses against civilians in Ethiopia during the two-year conflict in Tigrai and areas in nearby region. It found that the Ethiopian national defense forces, Eritrean Defense Forces, and allied regional Special Forces and militias are all responsible for mass killings, widespread and systematic rape and sexual violence, sexual slavery, deliberate starvation, forced displacement and large scale arbitrary detentions which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The commission also noted that it was “unable to make a determination on the possible crime against humanity of extermination or Genocide due to time and resource limitations”, and that further investigation is required to determine the full facts and legal implications.

The commission added that the continued presence and violations by the Eritrean Forces in Tigrai before and after the signing of CoHA back in November of 2022 and the spread of violence to the rest of the nation are a stark reminder that without credible accountability, the cycle of impunity will continue.

Chair of the commission Mohamed Chande Othman said that the regional and international community, including the UN system, Special Procedures Mandate holders, and OHCHR should not forget the victims of the brutal conflict and should strengthen its monitoring of the situation against set regional and international benchmarks.

This final report came in light of the termination of the commissions mandate yesterday, at the end of the human rights councils 54th session.

By Saron Tsegay