Ethiopia rejects UN rights report: envoy to UN in Geneva

AFP , Tuesday 20 Sep 2022

Ethiopia's ambassador to Geneva on Tuesday rejected a report by UN investigators that accused Addis Ababa of possible crimes against humanity in Tigray, including using starvation as a weapon of war.

Zenebe Kebede
File Photo: The Permanent Representative of Ethiopia, Zenebe Kebede Korcho. Photo courtesy of UN website.


"There is not any single evidence that shows the government of Ethiopia used humanitarian aid as an instrument of war," Zenebe Kebede, Ethiopia's permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, told AFP.

The Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia said it had found evidence of widespread violations by all sides since fighting erupted in the northern Tigray region in November 2020.

The report said there were "reasonable grounds to believe that the Federal Government and allied regional State governments have committed and continue to commit the crimes against humanity of persecution on ethnic grounds and other inhumane acts".

This included denying desperately needed aid, including food and medicine, to Tigray, a region of six million where the UN says famine-like conditions are present.

The commission was made up of three independent rights experts and was created by UN Human Rights Council last December, despite opposition from Addis Ababa.

Ambassador Zenebe said the commission was "politically motivated" and their conclusions were "self contradictory and biased".

"Therefore we have no other option but to reject this report, as we have rejected the resolution that established it, and the very establishment of this mechanism as well," he said."

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