World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Exceedingly Worrying And Volatile Situation In Ethiopia – Bachelet

The following is a transcript of remarks UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet made at a press conference in Geneva on 9 December 2020 in response to questions on Ethiopia:

“The situation in Ethiopia is exceedingly worrying and volatile and – as I had warned – is spiraling out of control, with appalling impact on civilians.

In the Tigray region itself, fighting is reportedly continuing - in spite of Government claims to the contrary. We have reports that particularly areas surrounding towns like Mekelle, Sherero, Axum, Abiy Addi, and the borders between the Amhara and Tigray regions, fighting continues between federal forces and the TPLF, and affiliated militias on both sides.

We have corroborated information of gross human rights violations and abuses – including indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian objects, looting, abductions and sexual violence against women and girls. There are reports of forced recruitment of Tigrayan youth to fight against their own communities.

A major impediment is that communication in the region remains limited, and we have been unable to access the worst affected areas so are unable to fully verify these allegations through fact-finding missions.

There is an urgent need for independent monitoring of the human rights situation in the Tigray region, for all necessary measures to protect civilians, and for accountability for violations.

The humanitarian situation is deeply distressing. In spite of an agreement between the Government and the UN, unfettered humanitarian access has not been possible. I appeal to the Government to fulfill the Prime Minister’s pledge to ensure humanitarian access, and to ensure access to water, electricity and other basic needs is restored.

Elsewhere in Ethiopia, there are numerous reports of ethnic profiling of Tigrayans, including in Addis. We have reports of dismissals from jobs – including in the civil service – harassment of Tigrayan journalists and hate speech against Tigrayans. Such discriminatory actions are deeply unjust but are also fostering divisiveness and sowing the seeds for further instability and conflict. I urge the Government to take immediate measures to halt such discrimination.

We are also concerned that there has been a reported rise in intercommunal violence in recent weeks in other parts of Ethiopia, particularly in the Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Somali, Afar and Oromia regions, which has reportedly resulted in fatalities.

I urge the Government to ensure that humanitarian actors can do their life-saving work without fear of attack, and to ensure that those responsible for attacks against humanitarian workers are held accountable in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian laws and standards.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN SDG: UN Appoints Twenty Eminent Thinkers To Shed New Light On The World’s Greatest Challenges

New York, 21 January 2021 – Twenty prominent personalities, globally renowned for their intellectual leadership in economic and social fields, will form the second United Nations High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, the ... More>>

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>