Investigations into the deteriorating situation in Ethiopia continue
On Thursday, March 4, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called for an independent assessment amid reports of a quickly deteriorating situation for human rights in the conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia this year. Justifying the probe, Bachelet said, “Deeply distressing reports of sexual and gender-based violence, extrajudicial killings, widespread destruction and looting of public and private property by all parties continue to be shared with us, as well as reports of continued fighting in central Tigray in particular. … Credible information also continues to emerge about serious violations of international human rights law and humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict in Tigray in November last year.”
On March 3, the government of Ethiopia announced an investigation into an alleged massacre of several hundred people in the city of Axum last November, reversing a firm denial issued just a few days before. The presence of Eritrean troops in Tigray is disputed by the Ethiopian government, though even government-appointed interim Tigray leaders confirmed their presence back in January.
In February, the Eritrean government had rejected a story about the incidents in Tigray reported by the Associated Press as “outrageous lies.” In late February, Amnesty International firmly disputed that account, stating, “The evidence is compelling and points…