On Monday, the International Commission of Human Rights Experts for Ethiopia called on parties to the conflict in Ethiopia to immediately cease fighting and return to dialogue.
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The Commission "is outraged about the renewal of hostilities between the government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF)," a statement issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) quoted the Commission as saying.
"We call upon the parties to immediately cease their fighting and return to the process of dialogue that each has accepted," the Commission said, warning that such fighting exacerbates the hardship on civilians and carries with it the risk of escalation.
"The human rights, health, and welfare of civilians must be the utmost priority of all parties," the Commission affirmed, urging both sides to immediately take all steps needed to allow the United Nations and other international agencies to carry out the distribution of humanitarian assistance in the conflict-affected areas.
The Commission is an independent body mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to, among other things, conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into allegations of violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law and international refugee law in Ethiopia committed by all parties to the conflict in northern Ethiopia since November 2020.
The Commission, which was established by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council in December last year, conducted its first-ever visit to the East African country from July 25 to 30. The rebel TPLF, which currently de-facto rules Tigray region, and the Ethiopian National Defense Force backed by allied forces have been engaged in a conflict since early Nov. 2020. The conflict left millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
In March this year, the Ethiopian government and the rebel group announced a humanitarian ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid into the conflict-affected parts of northern Ethiopia. Renewed fighting, however, erupted last week.