Call to probe killings by Ethiopian forces


Ethiopia military personnel

Call to probe killings by Ethiopian forces

from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ethiopia Bureau
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) -AN appeal has been made to human rights bodies to investigate the killing of an estimated 50 civilians by the Ethiopian National Defense Forces in January.

They were killed in the Merawi town, Amhara region, after fighting between the security personnel and local militias.

These killings on the eve of the annual feast of St. Mary, observed on January 30, are suspected to be war crimes.

Soldiers were accused of rounding up local men from their homes, shops and the streets.

“Mass killings are becoming shockingly common in Ethiopia,” said Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

Last year, United Nations investigators reported more than 48 “large scale killings” only in Tigray since 2020.

“The lack of credible efforts by the Ethiopian government to ensure justice for families of those killed and prevent such atrocities adds insult to injury,” Chagutah said.

In 2021, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) spearheaded the establishment of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE).

This followed a lack of credible national efforts for accountability.

ICHREE had a key role to play in international oversight, early warning and prevention.

In 2023, the UN’s scrutiny of Ethiopia ended with the expiry of ICHREE’s mandate.

“Given continued violations in the Amhara region and the lack of commitment to justice nationally, UN member states should act to reinstate HRC scrutiny of the situation in Ethiopia,” Chagutah said.

– CAJ News

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