NAROBI, Kenya ( Associated Press) — A United Nations human rights panel focused on Ethiopia says it is concerned about the continuing violations and abuses in the East African country.
The Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia, created by the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate human rights violations and rights violations in Ethiopia, has warned that the country faces increasing violence and a serious humanitarian crisis.
“It appears that the subject of our investigation is still being exonerated by the various sides of the conflict,” commission chair Betty Murungi said on Thursday. The commission stressed that it is the responsibility of the government to “end such violations in its territory and bring those responsible to justice.”
Murungi said that “any spread of violence against civilians is an early warning indicator and a harbinger of more heinous crimes.”
The Geneva-based panel has been tasked with investigating allegations of human rights, humanitarian and refugee violations since war broke out in the Tigre region of northern Ethiopia in November 2020.
Since then, violence, partly ethnically motivated, has spread to other parts of the country, including the Oromia and Amhara regions.
Witnesses recently told The Associated Press that more than 400 ethnic Amhars were killed in Oromia on June 18, shocking the Ethiopian and international community.
On Thursday, Ethiopia’s prime minister’s spokesman said 338 people had been confirmed dead in the Oromia attack. Bilin Siyum blamed the Oromo Liberation Army (ELO) for the killings.
But an ELO spokesman denied the allegations, saying it was the work of government forces and local militias, and called for an independent investigation.
The UN commission is expected to submit a written report to the UN General Assembly later this year.