Ethiopia: war crimes, sexual violence, continue despite peace deal — UN experts
A UN-backed experts’ report, published on Monday (18 September), has revealed that war crimes continue in Ethiopia despite a peace deal signed nearly a year ago, ending the violence that has left over 10,000 survivors of sexual violence
The human rights experts say that despite the peace deal signed in late 2022, which ended a devastating conflict that has also engulfed the country’s Tigray region, the conflict in the north of the country has not been resolved, not least for the at least 10,000 people affected by rape and other sexual violence — mostly women and girls. But the report comes against the backdrop of an uncertain future for the team of investigators who wrote it: The UN Human Rights Council is set to decide early next month whether to extend the team’s mandate in the face of efforts by the Ethiopian government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to end it. The report details how troops from neighboring Eritrea and militia members from Ethiopia’s Amhara militia continue to commit grave violations in Tigray, including the “systematic rape and sexual violence of women and girls.”
The report cites atrocities by all sides in the Tigray conflict in 2020-2022, including mass killings, rape, starvation, and destruction of schools and medical facilities. ”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,” said Mohamed Chande Othman, Chairman of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia. “Violent confrontations are now at a near-national scale, with alarming reports of violations against civilians in the Amhara region and on-going atrocities in Tigray,” Othman added. To that end, the report also highlights the low accountability and trust in the justice system in Ethiopia.