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Report Finds Ethiopian Forces Committed Genocidal Acts in Tigray War

Tigrayans displaced by the conflict rest in a makeshift tent in the city of Semera, Ethiopia (AFP)

NAIROBI — Ethiopian forces and their allies committed genocidal acts during the Tigray war, according to a new report issued on Tuesday by the United States-based New Lines Institute.

The 120-page draft, citing multiple credible and independent sources, asserts that Ethiopian forces engaged in “acts constituting the crime of genocide” during the conflict from 2020 to 2022. The report urges Ethiopia to be brought before the International Court of Justice.

The Tigray war began in November 2020, following a bid by the regional government for greater autonomy, prompting the Ethiopian military to enter the northern region.

Over the course of two years, thousands of lives were lost. The conflict officially ended in November 2022, but both sides have accused each other of committing atrocities, including massacres, rape, and arbitrary detentions, while each side vehemently denies responsibility for these abuses.

A United Nations report from September last year stated that war crimes and crimes against humanity were still occurring nearly a year after the cessation of hostilities between government forces and Tigrayan regional forces.

The New Lines Institute report now presents sufficient evidence that Ethiopia violated the Genocide Convention, notably through actions such as mass killings and the use of starvation tactics against civilians.

The Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), along with the allied Eritrean Defence Forces (EDF) and various regional militias, are said to have “possessed the intent to destroy Tigrayans as an ethnic group.”

The report identifies at least four genocidal acts: killing Tigrayans, causing serious bodily or mental harm, deliberately inflicting life conditions calculated to destroy the group, and imposing measures intended to prevent births among Tigrayans. Additionally, the report highlights social media posts by “certain individuals” as constituting public incitement to genocide.

The authors of the report call for international judicial intervention to address these allegations and hold accountable those responsible for the atrocities committed during the Tigray war.

Meanwhile, the ceasefire agreement, brokered amid international pressure, was intended to bring an end to the bloodshed that ravaged the northern region of Ethiopia, displacing millions and drawing condemnation from global human rights organizations. However, recent reports suggest that the violence and suffering are far from over.

© All East Africa

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