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Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights Watch’

NGOs Call for UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Tigray

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 11, 2021

Your Excellency,

We, the undersigned human rights non-governmental organizations, strongly urge the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to adopt a resolution at its upcoming 47thsession (HRC47) on the ongoing human rights crisis in Tigray, Ethiopia.

Over the last seven months an overwhelming number of reports have emerged of abuses and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law (IHL/IHRL) during the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region. Reports by civil society organizations have detailed widespread massacres, violence against civilians and indiscriminate attacks across Tigray while preliminary analysis by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) indicates that all warring parties have committed abuses that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. There is now ample evidence that atrocities continue to be committed, notably by the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, Eritrean Defense Forces, and Amhara regional special police and affiliated Fano militias. These include indiscriminate attacks and direct attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, widespread and mass extrajudicial executions, rape and other sexual violence, forced displacement, arbitrary detentions, including of displaced persons, widespread destruction and pillage of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, factories and businesses, and the destruction of refugee camps, crops and livestock.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict has repeatedly expressed alarm over the widespread and systematic commission of rape and sexual violence in Tigray. On 21 April she stated that women and girls in Tigray are being subjected to sexual violence “with a cruelty that is beyond comprehension,” including gang rape by men in uniform, targeted sexual attacks on young girls and pregnant women, and family members forced to witness these horrific abuses. The SRSG also stated that these reports, coupled with assessments by healthcare providers in the region, indicate that sexual violence is being used as a weapon of war.

Thousands of civilians are estimated to have been killed, while the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs believes at least 1.7 million people remain displaced. On top of ethnic targeting and massacres within Tigray, there have been reports of government discrimination, demonization and hate speech directed at Tigrayans in other parts of Ethiopia. A number of UN officials, from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to UNICEF’s Executive Director and the UN Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect, have publicly called for urgent action to end the abuses in Tigray and alleviate the conflict’s devastating impact on the region’s civilian population.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator has also warned that famine is imminent in Tigray and that without a drastic upscaling of funding and access, hundreds of thousands of people could starve. Despite this looming risk, humanitarian workers have also been targeted throughout the conflict, with nine aid workers killed since November, the most recent on 29 May.

On 25 March, OHCHR and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission announced the launch of a joint investigation into the ongoing reports of atrocity crimes in Tigray. On 12 May, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) adopted an important resolution establishing a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to investigate violations of IHL and IHRL and identify perpetrators. Unfortunately, the HRC has so far remained largely silent on Tigray, aside from a welcome joint statement delivered by Germany on behalf of 42 states on 26 February 2021.

A robust, dedicated and coordinated approach to this human rights crisis by the international community is both critical and urgent, given the gravity of ongoing crimes, the complex nature of the situation, and the involvement of various parties. After seven months of serious violations and abuses, the HRC can no longer stay silent. It should take urgent action to address the crisis and fulfil its mandate to address and prevent violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations and abuses, and to respond promptly to emergencies. We therefore respectfully urge your Mission to work towards the adoption of a resolution at HRC47 that:

· Recognizes the serious concerns expressed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, SRSG on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and Responsibility to Protect, and other senior UN officials regarding possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Tigray;

· Requests the High Commissioner to report on her investigations, findings and recommendations to date regarding the human rights situation in Tigray, Ethiopia, and possible violations of IHL and IHRL at the HRC’s 48th session in the context of an enhanced interactive dialogue;

· Also invites the ACHPR’s CoI to brief the HRC on its investigation at the enhanced interactive dialogue at the 48th session;

· Emphasizes the important role of the HRC’s prevention mandate, as outlined in Resolution 45/31, and requests the High Commissioner to brief UN member states intersessionally and on an ad-hoc basis to update the HRC on the situation in Tigray.

The adoption of such a resolution would provide a concrete foundation for the HRC to decide on the action needed to prevent further human rights violations and abuses in Tigray and ensure accountability.

Excellencies, please accept the assurances of our highest consideration,

Source

Where’s the UN Security Council’s formal Meeting on Tigray?

At a high-level U.S. and EU event on the ongoing crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region yesterday, USAID Administrator Samantha Power expressed frustration that the U.N. — the body in which she used to represent U.S. interests — hasn’t been able to act to stop atrocities.

The meeting came as U.N. agencies warned of “looming famine” in Tigray, where over 350,000 people are already facing catastrophic food insecurity.

“I’ve lived through great frustration on the Security Council,” Power said, referencing being unable to secure “a tough resolution on an issue of grave concern.” On Tigray: “Not even to have a formal meeting on something of this enormity — it’s shocking, truly, and will go down in history … as a very shameful period.”

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield called the Security Council’s failure to act “unacceptable.” “Do African lives not matter?” she asked. The Irish Mission to the U.N. has asked the Security Council to meet on Tigray, and expects it to happen next Tuesday.

The U.S. and EU released a joint statement following the meeting, calling for a cease-fire, adherence to international humanitarian law, immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access, withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Ethiopia, and a scale-up of international support.

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Posted in Ethiopia, Infos, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ethiopia: Schools in Tigray Used as Military Bases: HRW

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 29, 2021

💭 በትግራይ ያሉ ትምህርት ቤቶች እንደ ወታደራዊ ቤዝ እያገለገሉ ነው። ሂውማን ራይትስ ዋች/ HRW.

የትግራይን ሕፃናት መድፈር፣ ለስደት መዳርግና መግደል አልበቃቸውም ትምህርት ቤቶቻቸውንም ልክ ቅኝ ቀዢዎቹ ኢዶማውያን ኃይሎች በቅኝ ግዛቶቻቸው ሲያደርጉት እንደነበረው የጦር እና የሴቶች መድፈሪያ ቤዝ አድርገውባቸዋል። 😠😠😠 😢😢😢

አረመኔው የኦሮሞ አገዛዝ ወደፊት መገንባት ለሚያስባት እስላማዊት ኦሮሚያ ከበስተሰሜን የቴዎድሮስ ክርስቲያናዊ ኃይል እንዳይመጣበትና የወረረውንም የአክሱም/ኢትዮጵያን ግዛት እንዳያስመልስ በመፍራት ሃምሳ ዓመት ዘልቆ በማሰብ ተግቶ በመሥራት ላይ ነው። ይህን አስቀድመው ማየት በተሳናቸው፣ ዛሬም፤ “ጂሃድ ጃዋር እኮ ለእኛ ጾመልን!” እያሉ ዕድልና በረከታቸውን ለቀንደኛ አህዛብ ጠላታቸው እያጋሩ የወገኖቻችንን የሰቆቃና ስቃይ ጊዜ የሚያራዝሙባቸው፤ ዛሬም እንኳ መንቃት ባቃታቸው ግብዝ ሰሜናውያን እጅግ አፈርኩ፣ ለመቶ ሰላሳ ዓመታት መልሶ መላልሶ ወደ ጭቃ! በእውነቱ ደሜ ፈላ! 😢😢😢

The United Nations’ refugee agency is expressing growing concern about the crisis in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.

There are reports hundreds of refugees have been taken from displacement camps by soldiers.

Schools have also not been spared, with Human Rights Watch accusing government troops of using a high school as a military base.

Meanwhile, the United States, a strong ally of Ethiopia’s government for years, is growing frustrated with the scale of the fighting and widespread reports of sexual violence.

The US Senate has unanimously called for the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops and Secretary of State Antony Blinken says what is happening amounts to ethnic cleansing.

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Posted in Ethiopia, Infos, Life, News/ዜና | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

HRW | Abiy Ahmed’s Human Rights Abuses in Tigray | የአብዮት አህመድ የሰብአዊ መብት ረገጣ በትግራይ

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on March 2, 2021

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Posted in Ethiopia, Infos, Life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Tyranny of Human Rights Organizations

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on March 29, 2013

My Note: The following article reflects a very objective observation of the so-called, Human-rights groups. I remember hearing Amnesty International calling for African countries to arrest and detain ex-President G.W. Bush during his 2011 Africa visit. The curiousest thing is that these organizations are operating from the West, yet, they never dare to make the same sort of request when Mr. Bush is in the West

africa2jpgHow the West is seeking to usurp Africa’s struggle for freedom and democracy using a humanitarian language

Since the end of the Cold War, a movement to save Africa from Africans has grown and gained momentum across the Western world. This movement is reflected in campaigns to end poverty by giving aid and canceling debt, to try African leaders at the International Criminal Court and to promote human rights. On the face of it, this movement seems humane and well intentioned.

But on close examination, this movement is an attempt to usurp the sovereignty and therefore democratic content of our continent’s struggle for independence. My interest in this article is the growth of a human rights police wielding a stick on the heads of elected African leaders.

Two governments in contemporary Africa have been very successful at an autonomous state building and economic reconstruction project – Rwanda under Paul Kagame and Ethiopia and the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. They have equally been victims of a near-jihad by the human rights police claiming to represent the real interests of their citizens. Two other countries have been unable to engineer an autonomous project of state and economic reconstruction. They have instead remained under management by the United Nations – Liberia and Sierra Leone. These are the darlings of the human rights community.

Why are Africa’s most successful governments at state and economic reconstruction vilified while those managed by donors are praised and presented as model examples? The answer is that their leaders take orders from London Paris and Washington DC. Perhaps I am overstating the case. However, there is reason to believe that some elements in Western society would like to create an Africa that in their own image. Anything that is not a reproduction of Western society is not only seen as abnormal but also a danger to be fought and annihilated.

For example, beginning mid last year, the international press (largely western based or managed) has launched a jihad against the government of Kagame in Rwanda. The ammunition for the this jihad is a shoddy and doggy report by a UN “panel of experts” that alleges Rwanda to be training and arming M23 rebels fighting the government of President Joseph Kabila of DR Congo.

The third party and cheer leader of this triumvirate is the international human rights community which has been leading the campaign against Kigali for nearly two decades. Given that the post genocide government in Kigali represents the most successful state attempt in post independence Africa to serve ordinary citizens, this should surprise us. Actually it should not and this is why.

International human rights groups largely founded and financed by the West have increasingly become powerful voices shaping politics in Africa. Their voice is respected by governments and mass media in the West. Given Africa’s dependence on Western aid, our leaders shape our politics around what these groups are saying. But this tends to undermine our sovereignty and nascent democratic institutions.

It also reflects growing success by Western countries to shape post colonial Africa in their own image. Kagame’s crime has been to place the interests of Rwanda and his people above the demands of these organizations. The price of this insistence on independence may be catastrophic for him and Rwanda. Indeed, it has been the experience of other African leaders who tried this before him – Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, Milton Obote and Thomas Sankara.

Human rights groups are often single-issue organizations and seek to make their single issue the only issue on which to judge a country. Thus, they may pick one variable e.g. the arrest of one opposition politician and without reference to facts or context use their influence in western capitals to cause economic sanctions, cancelation of aid, diplomatic pressure and blackmail to bully a poor country to acquiesce to their demands. It does not matter whether the government has respected the rights of 10m of its citizens and done its best to serve them. This single issue would be enough straw to break the nation’s will.

This shows that these international human rights groups are opposed to sovereignty which African countries achieved through hard-won battles of national independence. They claim to represent universal human values that know no boundaries. Yet most of their campaign is actually based on Western values born of a specific historical experience. Meanwhile, these organizations are not answerable to anyone. Their leaders and executives are not elected. There is no democratic way to hold them accountable for their actions.

Thus, the beneficiaries of the activism by human rights groups have no recourse to elections to remove their leaders from office if they did not meet specific expectations. For example, Human Rights Watch’s campaign against the government of Rwanda has powerful implications on that country’s tourism, trade, investment and aid – all of which impact significantly on the livelihoods of the people of Rwanda. How can Rwanda’s citizens harmed by the negative campaign by HRW hold this organization and its leaders to account? In fact the hubris with which HRW leader Kenneth Roth speaks as the legitimate voice of Rwandans against its elected leaders can only be explained as racism.

The only accountability these groups have is financial – and to their funders in the West. These funders – the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and the Open Society Institute are far removed – both physically and ideologically from the needs of the ordinary African who is most affected by the campaign of their client NGOs. There is no political accountability to the beneficiaries of the advocacy by human rights groups. The only accountability they do is by showing their work i.e. exposing human rights abuses. The structure of incentives here encourages these groups to name and shame human rights violators, a factor that leads them to vilify or even distort and blinds them from appreciating context.

Thus, when you visit Africa today, our public policies are designed by the IMF and World Bank, the hungry are fed by World Food Program, the ill are treated by Red Cross and Doctors without Borders, refugees are cared for by UNHCR, those in conflict are “protected” by UN peacekeepers, our Malaria is fought by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, our story is told by The New York Times, our poverty is fought by Jeffrey Sachs and Bono, our crimes are tried by the ICC, our public serves are financed by a generous international aid community, our debts are cancelled, our press freedom is defended by Reporters without Borders and CPJ, our human rights are promoted by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Our heroes are Angelina Jolly and George Clooney, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy.

The tragic thing is that we African elites have been complicity in these processes to usurp our sovereignty and democratic rights. Whether this has been due to opportunism or ignorance, naivety or ideological bankruptcy or the sheer weight of our accumulated failures, we have actively aided and abated these developments. The challenge of our generation is to resist this neocolonial project dressed in the old language of human rights that seeks to demote us from citizens actively fighting for their rights to mere recipients of international charity and hence relegated to playing the role of spectator in the struggles shaping our destiny.

 

Continue reading…

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