The 49th Session of the UN Human Rights Council
28 February 2022 - 01 April 2022
Item 2: Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner's oral update on the situation of human rights in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and on progress made in the context of the joint investigation undertaken by OHCHR and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (resolution 47/13)
7 March 2022
Oral Statement of International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
Delivered by Tiril Andresen / GICJ
We appreciate the oral update from the High Commissioner. Once again, we would like to express our concern about the grave situation in the Tigray region.
Although the overall situation in Northern Ethiopia is now relatively calm, the reported use of heavy weapons and airstrikes in the region has contributed to a dangerous environment for those on the ground.
Since the conflict erupted 16 months ago, all parties have allegedly committed widespread human rights violations, including mass killings, destruction of property and arbitrary arrest.
Ethiopia is currently facing a worsening humanitarian crisis. Although the UN estimates that more than 90 per cent of the population is in urgent need of humanitarian aid, those providing such assistance have been denied access to the Tigray region, since mid-December.
EAFORD and Geneva International Centre for Justice are deeply concerned as the level of forced displacement in the region continues to rise, and at least 2 million people have been forced to leave their homes.
We are also deeply concerned about the scale of gender-based violence and sexual abuse, with 90 per cent of the victims reported being minors. We call on the Ethiopian government to immediately punish those responsible, for such unlawful acts.
Finally, we must emphasise the importance of immediate access to humanitarian assistance.
The victims and survivors of the conflict are still waiting for justice. Therefore, we call for further investigations to hold all those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity accountable.
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