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Since Nov. 2020, nearly two million citizens have become forcibly displaced, and at least 75,000 Ethiopians have sought refuge in Sudan.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) launched a commission of inquiry into the conflict in Tigray, a region where the Ethiopian government has been conducting an armed offensive since November 2020.
While this investigation stemmed from a proposal made by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed himself, the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Thursday regretted that ACHPR unilaterally announced the commission's initiation.
Since the Ethiopian government holds that such a commission has no legal basis, it asked the ACHPR to "immediately cease" the current process although "it still has the opportunity to rectify this unfortunate and useless step and engage in a joint investigation which has already been accepted".
In December, the African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat assured that the Ethiopian government's military actions in Tigray were legitimate.
Since then, however, the African Union has remained silent on the conflict. In early March, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) warned of evidence of "war crimes and crimes against humanity" in the Tigray region.
International and national human rights defenders have also denounced acts of indiscriminate violence against the civilian population in Tigray, including over 1,000 documented cases of sexual violence.
The conflict erupted in November 2020 after the Government launched a military offensive against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) in retaliation for an earlier attack on a federal army base.
Since then, thousands of people have been killed, nearly two million citizens have become forcibly displaced, and at least 75,000 Ethiopians have sought refuge in Sudan.
#FromTheSouth News Bits | The UN's World Food Program is providing food assistance to hard-to-reach areas in Ethiopia's conflict-ravaged Tigray region, while UNICEF warns that tens of thousands of malnourished children are dying in the region. pic.twitter.com/Jaaa5nc2lW