December 1, 2020
Ethiopian rights watchdog calls for investigation into reported rights violations after operation in restive north ends
Now that Ethiopia’s military operation into its northern state of Tigray has been declared complete, authorities should resume basic services to its residents, a rights watchdog urged the East African nation’s government on Tuesday.
In a statement, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) called for humanitarian access to the region, as well as telecommunications to be restored and the resumption of health, water, electricity and other services.
Urging the government to facilitate efforts to reconnect separated families and relocate and return displaced people and refugees, the body called on officials to allow access to an “independent and transparent” investigation into possible “grave human rights violations.”
On Nov. 4, Ethiopia launched an operation against Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), claiming the group has attacked troops stationed in the northernmost region of Tigray.
After three weeks of intense fighting, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared that the third and final phase of the operation was largely over and that reconstruction would soon resume as efforts continued to apprehend the leaders of the TPLF.
“EHRC has also been monitoring complaints of ethnic profiling of Tigrayan origin most notably manifested in forced leave from work and in stopping people from traveling overseas including on work mission, for medical treatment or studies,” the statement said.
“EHRC is gravely concerned that while there is no government policy nor legal framework condoning ethnic profiling, security measures designed to apprehend certain suspected individuals overstepped their remit of application, thereby affecting a wider community.”