UN says war crimes still being committed in Ethiopia

UN experts published a report on Monday stating that war crimes and crimes against humanity continue to occur in Ethiopia, nearly a year after government and regional forces from Tigray reached an agreement to cease hostilities.

Thousands lost their lives during the two-year conflict, which officially concluded in November of the previous year. Both parties levelled accusations of heinous acts against each other, such as massacres, sexual assault, and unjust incarcerations, yet both denied culpability for widespread abuses.

“While the signing of the agreement may have mostly silenced the guns, it has not resolved the conflict in the north of the country, in particular in Tigray, nor has it brought about any comprehensive peace,” Mohamed Chande Othman, chair of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia, said in a statement accompanying the report.

“The situation in Ethiopia remains extremely grave,” he added.

The Commission’s report emphasised that human rights violations in Tigray remained “grave and ongoing,” and it documented attacks by the Eritrean Defence Forces (EDF) targeting civilians.

Eritrea, which deployed its troops to support Ethiopian government forces during the conflict, has vehemently denied allegations from residents and human rights organisations accusing its soldiers of committing abuses in Tigray.

The Commission’s report said violations “have been abetted or tolerated by the federal government, which has failed in its legal duty to protect its population from violations by a foreign army, or by Amhara militia present in the areas of Western and Southern Tigray.”

The report stated that the Ethiopian National Defence Forces, Eritrean Defence Forces, and allied regional special forces orchestrated a “widespread and systematic attack” against civilian populations.

“It finds that members of these forces committed the crimes against humanity of murder, torture, rape, acts of a sexual nature of comparable gravity, sexual slavery, enslavement imprisonment or other severe deprivation of liberty‚Ķ” the report said.

Ethiopia’s government and its armed forces have consistently refuted allegations of widespread misconduct by their troops, whether independently or alongside Eritrean forces.

They have pledged to investigate individual complaints of abuse.

Officials from the Ethiopian region of Amhara have likewise rejected claims that their forces were involved in atrocities in the neighboring Tigray region.

Scroll to Top