Pan-African body begins probe into rights abuses in Ethiopia's Tigray region
Inquiry follows reports of rampant human rights violations in restive region, including soldiers raping women
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on Thursday launched an inquiry into alleged human rights violations in Ethiopia’s northernmost region of Tigray.
Some international organizations alleged that rampant human rights violations were committed in the region, including soldiers raping women, while the Ethiopian government said it was doing its part and so far 25 soldiers suspected of involvement were detained.
The Tigray conflict followed an attack on Ethiopian Defense Forces last November by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, a party now declared a terrorist group by the Ethiopian parliament.
A sweeping law enforcement operation was launched by the federal government last November to quell the insurgency, but sporadic fighting is still being reported. More than one million people have been declared internally displaced while more than 60,000 fled to neighboring Sudan.
“The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, in accordance with its mandate of promotion and protection of human rights in Africa under Article 45 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, hereby informs the general public that the Commission of Inquiry on Tigray will officially commence its work on 17 June 2021,” an earlier African Union press release said.
“The Commission of Inquiry will begin its work in Banjul, Republic of the Gambia. It will conduct investigations on the ground and in neighboring countries when the conditions are met. The Commission of Inquiry will sit for an initial period of three months, which may subsequently be renewed,” it said.
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