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Christian Solidarity Worldwide Calls for Action on Genocide on Holocaust Memorial Day

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on January 27, 2021

የዓለም አቀፍ ክርስቲያኖች አንድነት ተቋም በጅምላ ጭፍጨፋ መታሰቢያ ቀን የዘር ማጥፋት ወንጀል ላይ ትግራይ ኢትዮጵያን በመጥቀስ እርምጃ እንዲወሰድ ጥሪ ያቀርባል።

As the world marks Holocaust Memorial Day, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) calls for swift intervention in current situations where atrocity crimes may currently be underway.

Signatories to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) are under an obligation to take measures to prevent and to punish this crime. However, indicators of genocide and other atrocity crimes are rarely addressed in a timely manner, as attempts to do so become mired in international politics, resulting in a failure to protect vulnerable communities.

there are indications that atrocity crimes may be underway in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, where a violent conflict has been ongoing since November between the Ethiopian authorities and the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF), formerly the regional authorities. The Ethiopian authorities, whose forces are fighting alongside soldiers from Eritrea and Somalia and a militia the Amhara region, claim they are only targeting the Tigrayan leadership and its forces. However, over the course of the conflict, egregious human rights violations have been reported, including mass rape, extrajudicial killings of men and boys in particular, extensive looting and the indiscriminate bombing of homes, churches, mosques, educational establishments, and other civilian structures.

A particularly egregious example of the violations underway in Tigray is the reported massacre, allegedly by Eritrean forces, of around 750 people at the Maryam Zion Church in Axum, which is believed to house the biblical Arc of the Covenant. While details surrounding these extrajudicial killings have been slow to emerge, it is currently alleged that the victims were attempting to protect the Arc from government-allied militia from the Amhara ethnic group, who sought to relocate it to their region. Tigray is home to several world heritage sites, and the massacre occurred against the backdrop of extensive looting of ancient religious manuscripts and objects.

The Eritrean government stands accused of committing crimes against humanity since 1991. In a joint letter issued in November 2020 to various officials of the United Nations (UN) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, CSW and eight other organizations had raised concerns regarding the presence of thousands of Eritrean troops in Tigray, which posed a serious threat to the wellbeing of Eritrean refugees in the region. The letter also highlighted concerning reports of refugees being forcibly returned to Eritrea in an appalling violation of international law and humanitarian norms.

Source

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