Ethiopia: Crimes Against Humanity Probe
NEW YORK, 8 March 2021 – The United Nations sbould urgently establish an independent inquiry into war crimes and possible crimes against humanity in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, Human Rights Watch said in a report.
The rights group says such an inquiry is needed for accountability.
Human Rights Watch (WHRW) also called on Ethiopian authorities to grant immediate and unfettered access to Tigray to researchers, international media and humanitarian aid workers.
Ethiopian and Eritrean forces indiscriminately shelled the holy city of Axum, killing and wounding civilians
Eritrean forces massacred scores of civilians, including children as young as 13, in Axum last November 19.
Tigray militia and civilians, angered by the killings, then attacked Eritrean forces last November 29.
It is after that attack that the Eritrean troops launched a retaliatory attacks in which they indiscriminately slaughtered hundreds of people, mostly men and boys, over a 24-hour period from November 29 to 30.
The attacks did not spare hospitals in the region, including the prominent Saint Mary’s Hospital..
“Suddnely, the [Eritrean forces] came in and started shooting. [My sister] got hit by a bullet and I started to run,” wrote Human Rights Watch’s Ida Sawyer in the report, citing the account of one of the survivors.
“After killing people, they took medicine, beds and other equipment,” Ida Sawyer added in a posting on Twitter.
Last February 26, the Ethiopian govnerment announced that it will thoroughly investigate the massacres.
Rights groups are urging Addis Ababa to go beyond the massacres themselves.
The troops also pillaged and destroyed property, including healthcare facilities, according to accounts by eyewitnesses and survivors, who are waiting for justice.