| 30 March 2023, Thursday |

Ethiopia seeks to end U.N.-ordered probe into Tigray war abuses

According to five diplomats, Ethiopia is canvassing support for a resolution to end a U.N.-mandated investigation into atrocities committed during the Tigray war, a move that may alienate African and Western countries.

A two-year struggle between the Ethiopian government and forces in the northern Tigray area came to an end in November with thousands of casualties and millions of displaced people. Massacres, rapes, and detentions without charge or trial were among the numerous crimes that both sides held the other responsible for.

Though the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council has never ended a probe before its mandate, Addis Ababa has circulated a draft version of a resolution calling for the Tigray inquiry to stop some six months early. That would also block publication of findings and a final debate at the council.

Ethiopian government spokesperson Legesse Tulu and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s spokesperson Billene Seyoum did not respond to requests for comment.

Addis Ababa has opposed the investigation from the outset, calling it politically motivated and trying to block funding.

Ethiopia’s proposed motion has not yet been formally submitted to the 47-member rights council, which meets from Monday until April 4. Two of the diplomats familiar with the matter said there were ongoing efforts to dissuade Addis Ababa.

“It would be a terrible precedent,” said a Western diplomat in Geneva.

  • Reuters