from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – THERE is concern about the situation in the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia degenerating into genocide.
Upcoming elections scheduled for the East African country have coincided with the divisions.
“On top of ethnic targeting and massacres within Tigray, there have been reports of government discrimination, demonization and hate speech directed at Tigrayans in other parts of Ethiopia,” some 12 non-governmental organisations said.
The NGOs jointly wrote to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) to intervene.
UN envoys have publicly called for urgent action to end the abuses in Tigray and alleviate the conflict’s devastating impact on the region’s civilian population.
The United States expressed worry as the situation escalates towards polls set for June 21.
“The hardening of regional and ethnic divisions in multiple parts of Ethiopia threaten the country’s unity and territorial integrity,” Ned Price, US Department of State spokesperson, said.
He said the period following these elections would be a critical moment for Ethiopians to come together to confront the divisions.
Tigray plunged into crisis last November after a fallout between the regional government and national administration.
Thousands of civilians are estimated to have been killed, while the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs believes at least 1,7 million people remain displaced.
Rape is widespread and famine imminent.
Preliminary analysis by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) indicates that all warring parties have committed abuses that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
– CAJ News