According to a report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council, the people of Tigray may be victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity. And this during the ongoing conflict between the Ethiopian federal government and the Tigrayan rebels since November 2020.
In the UN commission’s report, released on Monday, the three experts emphasize the restrictions imposed on the population of Tigray by the Ethiopian federal authorities. This is particularly true for access to basic services and food.
“In Tigray, the federal government and its allies have denied approximately 6 million people access to basic services, food, health care and humanitarian assistance for over a year. This state of affairs has “a devastating impact on the civilian population,” the experts say.
In fact, in Tigray, a region that has been almost cut off from the world for almost two years, apart from hunger, it is the lack of medicines in hospitals that represents a threat to the population. Not to mention the lack of access to electricity, fuel, telecommunications and banking services.
“We have reasonable grounds to believe that this amounts to a crime against humanity. “We also have reasonable grounds to believe that the federal government is using starvation as a method of warfare,” said Kaari Betty Murungi, chair of the commission. It also called on the government of Abiy Ahmed to “immediately restore basic services,” while urging the antagonists, including the Tigrayan forces, to “ensure that humanitarian agencies can operate without hindrance.
Finally, the experts recommend that the federal government, as well as the Eritrean and Tigrayan authorities, ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. They also call on international and regional bodies to “take measures that will restore peace, stability and security and avoid further violations” of human rights.