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UN rights chief calls for conflict investigation between Ethiopian central government soldiers and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)

Marie Feyche | U. Pittsburgh School of Law, US December 23, 2020 12:22:48 pm

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet addressed Tuesday allegations of human rights and humanitarian law violations in Ethiopia, calling for an investigation into the allegations and protection of Ethiopian civilians. The conflict between central government soldiers and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) began seven weeks ago, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia.

Several large artillery bombardments were allegedly carried out in Humera between November 9 and 11. Witnesses report that shells were launched from Eritrea, devastating residential areas and destroying a hospital. The Ethiopian army and regional Amhara forces also allegedly then took control of Humera, where they killed civilians and looted buildings. A second massacre is also alleged to have occurred in Mai Kadar on November 9. Several hundred people were killed in Mai Kadar, the majority of whom were Amharan.

In her statement, Bachelet said that these killings would be classified as war crimes if “civilians were deliberately killed by a party or parties to the conflict.” Given the likelihood that these actions would fall under such a category, she also called for an immediate, impartial, and thorough investigations into the killings.

There has also been growing concerns over potential human rights abuses during the region’s communications blackout that started on November 4, as well as for the ongoing safety and physical wellbeing of Eritrean refugees who were located in Tigray when the conflict began.

Tens of thousands of individuals have been displaced due to the conflict, and more than 54,000 Ethiopians have fled from the Tigray region to Sudan.


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(UN General Assembly, 1948) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 1. All human beings are free and equal 2. No discrimination 3. Right to life 4. No slavery 5. No torture and inhuman treatment 6. Same right to use law 7. Equal before the law 8. Right to be treated fair by court 9. No unfair detainment 10. Right to trial 11. Innocent until proved guilty 12. Right to privacy 13. Freedom to movement and residence 14. Right to asylum 15. Right to nationality 16. Rights to marry and have family 17. Right to own things 18. Freedom of thought and religion 19. Freedom of opinion and expression 20. Right to assemble 21. Right to democracy 22. Right to social security 23. Right to work 24. Right to rest and holiday 25. Right of social service 26. Right to education 27. Right of cultural and art 28. Freedom around the world 29. Subject to law 30. Human rights can’t be taken away