from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – THE deployment of the military to quell a rebellion in northern Ethiopia has raised fears of a deterioration for human rights.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed this week ordered a military operation against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which controls the Tigray region.
The deployment follows anarchy, with the latest crisis seeing forces loyal to the regional government taking over an army base.
Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s regional director: East and Southern Africa, said the decision to send the military not only signaled an escalation in tensions between the federal government and Tigray regional authorities.
“It also puts many lives at risk and threatens a downward spiral for human rights in Ethiopia,” Muchena said.
The activist called on the authorities in Ethiopia, both federal and regional, to ensure that international human rights law was respected in Tigray region, and, to ensure that people’s lives are protected.
“The use of lethal force must be restricted to when it is strictly unavoidable against the imminent threat of death or serious injury,” Muchena stated.
Michael Pompeo, United States Secretary of State, expressed sadness at the loss of life during the tensions in Tigray.
He urged immediate action to restore the peace and de-escalate tensions.
“The protection of civilian safety and security is essential. We will continue to follow this situation closely,” Pompeo said.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second-largest country by population (114,9 million) is synonymous with conflict.
– CAJ News