Ethiopia: Persistent, credible reports of grave violations in Tigray underscore urgent need for human rights access – Bachelet (04.03.2021)

GENEVA (4 March 2021) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday stressed the urgent need for an objective, independent assessment of the facts on the ground in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, given the persistent reports of serious human rights violations and abuses she continues to receive.

“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,” Bachelet said. “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.”

“Without prompt, impartial and transparent investigations and holding those responsible accountable, I fear violations will continue to be committed with impunity, and the situation will remain volatile for a long time to come.”

The UN Human Rights Office has been receiving information about ongoing fighting across the region, particularly in the centre of Tigray region, as well as incidents of looting by various armed actors. Reliable sources have shared information about the killing of eight protestors by security forces between 9 and 10 February in Adigrat, Mekelle, Shire and Wukro. More than 136 cases of rape have also been reported in hospitals in Mekelle, Ayder, Adigrat and Wukro in the east of Tigray region between December and January, with indications that there are many more such unreported cases. The Government has said investigations are under way into the cases of sexual violence.

The Office has also managed to corroborate information about some of the incidents that occurred in November last year, indicating indiscriminate shelling in Mekelle, Humera and Adigrat towns in Tigray region, and reports of grave human rights violations and abuses including mass killings in Axum, and in Dengelat in central Tigray by Eritrean armed forces.

A preliminary analysis of the information received indicates that serious violations of international law, possibly amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity, may have been committed by multiple actors in the conflict, including: the Ethiopian National Defence Forces, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, Eritrean armed forces, and Amhara Regional Forces and affiliated militia.

“With multiple actors in the conflict, blanket denials and finger-pointing, there is a clear need for an objective, independent assessment of these reports – victims and survivors of these violations must not be denied their rights to the truth and to justice. We urge the Government of Ethiopia to grant my Office and other independent monitors access to the Tigray region, with a view to establishing the facts and contributing to accountability, regardless of the affiliation of perpetrators,” Bachelet said.

Bachelet also expressed concern at detentions this week in Tigray of journalists and translators working for local and international media. While the journalists have now been released, there have been worrying remarks by a Government official that those responsible for “misleading international media” would be held responsible.

“Victims and witnesses of human rights violations and abuses must not be hindered from sharing their testimony for fear of reprisals,” the High Commissioner said.

Bachelet welcomed recent statements by the Government on accountability and measures taken on access for humanitarian actors. She urged the authorities to ensure that those commitments are translated into reality, and stressed that the UN Human Rights Office stands ready to support efforts at advancing human rights, including efforts by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission aimed at ensuring accountability.

Ethiopia: These bloodstains will never be forgotten Mr. Abiy [and Mr. Afwerki too]

Since the launch of the Law Enforcement Operation in early November 2020. There been articles, reports and since been recorded massacres, murders and killings of civilians in the Tigray Region. The Federal Government, the National Army, Amhara Para-Miltary Group “Fano” and Eritrean Army have all participated in the destruction, the atrocities and the battles over the region.

Yes, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) shall be accountable for their parts and their activity as well, but the blunt force of accountability and responsibility is on the Head of State and the Federal Government who has more power, friends and allies to destroy the “outlawed” and deemed “terrorist” group the TPLF. Therefore, Prime Minister Ahmed Ali Abiy and President Isias Afwerki have much more weight on their shoulders compared to TPLF President Debretsion Gebremichael.

So, in this regard… the Internally Displaced People, the refugees leaving refugee camps and the tactics of starvations, mass-murder and shelling towns. Are all deliberate acts of the state and its allies to conquer and leave no one behind. They are looting, destroying and silencing anyone. These folks are using all means to get total control and impose an “interim regional government” on the region as well.

The Prosperity Party is sending own soldiers as “peacekeepers” as the Ministry of Peace is enlisting them. The state is using mechanical forces, brigades of Eritrean soldiers to fight their fight and a militia to kill anyone who oppose the new sets of rules. It is now the “Rule of Law Operation” instead of the “Law Enforcement Operation”. Both make it seems like a cause to catch thieves in a den and not conventional warfare, which is happening on the 4th Month with little to no access for humanitarian aid and organizations to help the ones in need. The ones who get can get raided later by the soldiers who is supposed to keep them safe, but instead steal their vital aid.

That is why all the deaths, by the guns, the shelling of mortars or missiles are all on Abiy and Afwerki. These bloodstains, the deceased and the ones is no longer with us. These souls are on their account. It was their responsibility and their orders that was the reason for them losing their lives. A quick and brief operation, which was promised to not take lives. Have not taken thousands upon thousand. We have no idea how many by soldiers, by starvation and by trying to seek refugee in Sudan. We just know that too many have died over the principal of control from Addis Ababa.

This war is one to prove supremacy.. That is it really.

Abiy can claim otherwise and also backtrack the planned efforts in Amhara and airlifting troops to Eritrea ahead of attack on the Northern Command in early November. That is part of the timeline, the state never will really tell, but the drips of information proves it.

They have tried to block information and reports. If anything comes out. The state is debunking and dismiss it. While they asking the world to not accept “disinformation” but they are not accepting anything else published either. So, they only want their vision and not accepting the witnesses who has revealed stories and reports, which the state doesn’t want out.

This is why all massacres, mass-killings and atrocities needs to be revealed. The state will downplay it… but we need to know more. We only have a very limited picture and that is deliberate by the state. They also not accepting the information dropped from other sources than their own. Still, these are saying something and has to be taken into account. Since, they dare to shed lights on the dark side of war. While the state will only say it will “investigate” but the reports will only be pointed at their enemy. Never take accountability or responsibility for their own action. The Prime Minister have already lied and would easily lie again. Therefore, Abiy and Afwerki cannot run away from this, even if we know that they want too.

The leaders doesn’t want to be questioned and that has been clear for so long. Abiy and Afwerki doesn’t want this out, but when it does. It should create an outcry. The amount of horrific actions, which is hidden and been kept in the dark. That is acts that the ones in power orders.

The bloodstains on their hands cannot be washed away. The bloodshed and deaths are all in the hands of the government and their allies. That shouldn’t be forgotten about and needs to be stated.

The hands are red and no sort of cleaner will get it off. They can only tell what happened and who ordered what, but don’t expect that ever to happen. Abiy and Afwerki just want the glory, but don’t want to take the responsibility. The citizens of the Republic can die in the hands of the soldiers, but the King only wants to be praised. Long live the King and his Republic will prevail. Peace.

Ethiopia: Office of the Prime Minister – Statement on the Tigray Region Rule of Law Operation (03.03.2021)

Ethiopia: OLLAA Applauds German Government for Recalling Myanmar Ambassador, Urges Similar Response to Ethiopian Atrocities (02.03.2021)

Falls Church, Virginia (3/2/2021)—The Oromo Legacy Leadership and Advocacy Association (OLLAA) applauds the German government’s March 1 announcement that it has recalled its ambassador to Myanmar following the military government’s unlawful killing of peaceful protestors. “Such deadly violence against peaceful demonstrators can not be justified,” said German Foreign Ministry spokesman Steffan Seibert, “We summoned Myanmar’s ambassador today to make this position clear.”

OLLAA commends Germany’s commitment to democratic norms and urges the government to similarly signal its support for Ethiopian civilians, who are suffering gross violations of their human rights to life and freedom from unlawful arrest.

The atrocities in the Tigray region are part of an overarching pattern of human rights abuses committed by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government.

According to a report by Australian human rights monitoring NGO the Oromia Support Group (OSG), at least 1,342 civilians have been killed by Ethiopian security forces since October 2018. For example, nearly 350 civilians died in extrajudicial killings in the Western Oromia region alone. A 2020 report by Amnesty International documents dozens of horrific extrajudicial killings, including a father of three who was murdered by Ethiopian Defense Forces (EDF) at a town-wide meeting because his mobile phone rang in the middle of proceedings. In another case, the Oromia Police Special Force targeted and killed a 10th-grade student while he drank coffee at a local cafe.

Aside from the Ethiopian government’s abhorrent and illegal executions of civilians, the state has carried out a campaign of mass arrest and arbitrary detention for the past two years.

Between January and September 2019, Amnesty International reported that at least 10,000 people were known to be imprisoned in a wave of mass detention that targeted anyone believed to be even remotely associated with opposition political parties.

More recently in 2020, amidst the covid pandemic, the Ethiopian government arrested and imprisoned at least 5,000 people, many of whom were journalists, politicians, and student activists critical of the government according to Amnesty international. While the government postponed democratic elections, ostensibly due to covid transmission concerns, state security forces simultaneously placed thousands at high risk of the virus due to “punitive” conditions inside detention centers.

On the same day as Germany’s announcement, a BBC journalist was arrested and reportedly taken to a military detention camp.

OLLAA urges the German government to undertake the following actions:

  1. Unequivocally condemn Ethiopia’s use of extrajudicial killing, mass arrest, and political imprisonment, and directly call on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to release all political prisoners with no conditions.
  2. Dispatch representatives from the German embassy in Addis Ababa to monitor the wellbeing of Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, and the dozens of other political prisoners who have not eaten for over 30 days. The detainees are leading a hunger strike in order to demand justice for all political prisoners and their families, who continue to be targeted by Ethiopian security forces for their association with the detainees.
  3. Recall the German Ambassador to Ethiopia Stephan Auer in response to the Ethiopian government’s flagrant violations of democratic norms and international law.

For more information about the Oromo hunger strike, visit

Ethiopia: A Joint Press Release by Salsay Weyane Tigray (SaWeT), National Congress of Great Tigray (Baytone) and Tigray Independence Party (TIP= regarding the press release by the US State department (03.03.2021)

Foreign Press Association, Africa: FPAAA Statement on the Arrest of Journalists working for International Media in Ethiopia (02.03.2021)

Foreign Correspondents’ Association of East Africa (FCAEA): FCAEA Statement on journalists arrested and killed in Ethiopia (02.03.2021)

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF): Main points on the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia (02.03.2021)

More than three months into the crisis, MSF is very concerned about the humanitarian situation in Tigray. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes after fighting broke out in early November, 2020, according to OCHA. As of mid-February, more than 60,000 people have crossed to Sudan as refugees, while many others are displaced within the region, staying in towns, remote areas or trapped between localised outbreaks of fighting.

In the areas MSF teams have been able to access, displaced people and conflict-affected communities have very limited access to basic services, like food, clean water and shelter. Shortages of food and supplies and the interruption of essential services like electricity are having a devastating impact on the population and affecting access to medical care and livelihoods.

Most of the health facilities our teams visited in the towns and peripheral areas of Tigray visited so far were non-functional. It is crucial to restore essential life-saving services, including medical care, in Tigray to meet the population’s basic needs

We are particularly worried about the food situation, which was already bad before the fighting broke out. The fighting started at harvest time in a region where crops were already badly damaged by desert locusts, leaving food in short supply.

The scale of humanitarian needs is alarming and the response on the ground is still extremely limited. Access remains challenging, but is possible in some areas. MSF is scaling up medical activities in Adigrat, Adwa, Abyi Addi, Axum, Adwa, Dansha, Hiwane, Humera, West Tigray and Shire and Shiraro areas and we see huge needs requiring an urgent scale up of principled and humanitarian assistance.

Safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance and population’s access to services needs to be ensured in all areas of Tigray. There are still large parts of the region where MSF teams and other humanitarian organizations have not been able to gain meaningful access.

MSF response in the context of the Tigray crisis:

MSF teams have been providing medical care to some of the most affected people in the Tigray region since mid-December 2020 by providing basic primary healthcare to the displaced people and fighting-affected communities, as well as facilitating referral of critically-ill patients to secondary level of care facilities. Our teams also donated emergency and essential supplies such as medications, oxygen and food for patients, and rehabilitated key services of badly damaged health structures in all those areas we could access so far.

As of the end of February 2021, MSF teams are supporting 5 hospitals. We are also supporting health centres and are running mobile clinics in over 25 locations. Note: the number of locations with mobile clinics keeps changing constantly as teams are expanding outreach activities to new locations on a weekly basis.

Ethiopia: Oromo Political Prisoners Defence Team – On the 33th day of food festival, Jawar Mohammed (01.03.2021)

Federal high court, Ramadan Lidata (Chaffe Tuma) the 1th anti-terrorism and constitutional issues
Jawar Mohammed has been brought to the high court today. They’ve made their face black and white. Anyone who has seen them on tv before will be shocked if they see them today. It doesn’t mean they are drunk, their bodies are finished. It’s scary to see them, (very shocked). Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba and Hamza Borana two people can’t go and stand. Mr. Bekele and Hamza can’t sit in a place where they are sitting, but sleeping on a chair. All three of them braided hair. In short it’s hard to describe their situation in words, the situation they are in between death and life.
According to security, the Supreme Court is under high estimate of kilometers radio stations. Finfinnee police, federal police, prison police (two grandkids), ready to shoot firewood, face cover, neck and knee cover, trucks that are arrested on head etc. It is impossible to go to court with a mobile phone. It is not banned by the order of the court by holding a mobile phone but by the order. The people who came to follow the storm were demonstrating outside the park, if it was a long demonstration, it would have been a few people. People who wear yellow clothes were taking them back from court. Some people who get a relationship to enter into prison and don’t see direct prisoners / close to prisoners are forced to sit in place.
It is difficult to explain the situation of Jawar, Bekele and Hamza. No one can see them tears can’t stop. All the situation they are in is clear the determination they have for their people, the vision they have for their nation. They are paying for freedom and equality. Even if they have a problem with their mouth, they will see the decision they have when they speak.
If the attack started asking the prisoners for the prisoners, the attorneys have said that there is no treatment. In a country where there is law, it is saddening to be done to the accused. Lawyers said that the hospital of Landmarkis Qalli is not possible to give treatment. It’s not human things that are not planned on animals. Saving these people’s lives should be found first. All prisoners, family, lawyers, relatives far and near, all supporters who see them are mentally disturbed and can’t say they can’t give an appointment today.
The situation in the hall of ‘Ye Fitih Addarash’ is one of the biggest tragedy and sad. Including the guardians and the judges, everyone was filled with sadness and dark faces. A lot of people couldn’t hold tears in their eyes and couldn’t catch a good night. From attorneys, family, journalists, people who follow and etc were showing tears. Mobile banned from filming these conditions (photos, voice, video) without court order.
The court has asked for a statement from the leaders of Qalli prison due to the lack of operation of Mr. Bekele. They also said that they should leave the letter ‘Telegram’ and take Landmark to Torhaylooch without this and to be told by phone. One agency has shown the letter written by Dr. Gedion Timothyos and signed by telegram to the owners. Let this letter be read for us, let the copy be given to us on record, the lawyers who asked will be welcomed in other way after the court of slaughter.
At the end, the one who commented is Mr. Bekele and Melesa journalist. Mr. Bekele said this with a small water and his mouth is drying his lips and being soft and weak voice:
′′ We have respect for this court, we have seen some of the efforts you have made for the court and not for debate but for the court. You will see us in the situation we are in. Now what I want to say is the one who stopped us from trying to fight is the one called Dr. Gedion Ximotiyo. I have seen the letter he wrote and read the letter from prison that those who left Landmark hospital and took me to Xorhaylooch. The power of thief, robbery, zaranya, took us to the road by force and took me to Torhayiloch has prevented us from trying. We asked to be tested by our own sin instead of fear. Those who took me to Mafia by force and refused to take me back to prison for a long hour after torturing me in Xorhaylooch.
After that, they prevent me from having my eye treatment with this food that I have never been treated before. I will struggle to bring this mafia to justice until my life is alive so I will ask them. A group of Mafia who doesn’t know the rule of law is trying to kill us by poisoning our souls, and the country is in trouble.
We will die by our respect not by the poison of why we are poisoned. Thank you to those who made their home decorated. Police are appointed to protect us at the prison now their job is not only waiting for us. They will take us back to the toilet by taking us to the left and right. May respect and thanks be to them. Now I’m not saying this and I have the ability to. I’m alive in the next appointment because I’m afraid I’ll be alive. Thank you so much. ′′ ” n
Journalist Melesa Dirbsa on his side ′′ we are all tired. After 12 and more days we have started eating without the help of hakima we are exposed to pain. All of us are now with the leaders of the 33th day of the river. There is no difference between the act that is being done on us. So in this situation we can’t say anything today. ′′ I said it.
If the court sentenced Dr. Gedion Timothyos to the office after 10 minutes, because the situation in prison is difficult to give the speech of the prisoners can’t give the other appointment on 06/07/2013 ALH has been caught up with.
Message from this group
All this problem is caused by political differences. Jawar Mohammed is the prisoner of politics. The message we have is that those who live by law and rule of law, those who live by Oromo culture, those who kill each other by Oromo, the leaders of Gada, the religious leaders, the religious scholars, the wealthy, elders, elders, the famous people who trust each other, the party leaders of Gada. Politics, different parts of society you care about people, stop political differences and we won’t tell you to do anything else, go to prison and see what you are in them, then do what your mind ordered. Forget political stand, nation, religion of these prisoners only because you are human go and look at these people. What does man mean, what about man, when is his importance?

Ethiopia: Ministry of Foreign Affairs – On the US Statement Regarding the Situation in the Tigray Region (28.02.2021)