Addis Ethiopia Weblog

Ethiopia's World / የኢትዮጵያ ዓለም

  • June 2022
    M T W T F S S
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    27282930  
  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

Posts Tagged ‘Security Council’

Nobel Laureate & Helina Birhanu Demand Justice For Sexual Violence Victims in Tigray, Ethiopia

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on April 14, 2022

💭 In northern Ethiopia, a woman taken to an Eritrean Defense Forces camp was raped by 27 soldiers and contracted AIDS. In Central African Republic the bodies of a woman and two girls were found days after their kidnapping and rape by armed fighters. And in Iraq, 2,800 Yazidi woman and children have been captives of the Islamic State extremist group for eight years, many subjected to sexual violence.

These are some of the examples raised at a U.N. Security Council meeting Wednesday on accountability for such acts in conflicts by Pramila Patten, the U.N. special representative on sexual violence in conflict, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad, a member of Iraq´s Yazidi religious minority forced into sexual slavery in 2014 who escaped her Islamic State captors.

Patten´s opening words were aimed squarely at the U.N.´s most powerful body, which has approved five resolutions that focus on preventing and addressing conflict-related sexual violence. What do those resolutions mean right now, she asked, for a woman in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Myanmar or Ethiopia´s northern Tigray region?

At this time of “great global turbulence marked by multiple crises,” she said, the world has seen “increased militarization, including an epidemic of coups, which have turned back the clock on women´s rights.” And every new war has seen human tragedies “including new waves of war´s oldest, most silences, and least-condemned crime” — sexual violence and rape in those countries and others whose victims “cry out for justice and redress.”

Patten said the gap between commitments by the Security Council, and compliance and reality is evident: The latest U.N. report covering conflicts in 18 countries documents 3,293 U.N.-verified cases of sexual violence committed in 2021, a significant increase of 800 cases compared to 2020. Again, she said, the highest number – 1,016 – were recorded in Congo.

Patten also cited examples in other conflict areas: two women from the Rohingya minority in Myanmar´s Chin state gang-raped by government soldiers resulting in unwanted pregnancies; a woman allegedly raped at gunpoint by Puntland police officer in Somalia where she said “abduction, rape and forced marriage are rampant;” documented cases in Colombia of sexual violence against women ex-combatants and their families; and the torture and killing of a female police officer who was eight months pregnant in Afghanistan´s Ghor province.

The U.N. special representative said the few cases of courts convicting perpetrators “are still the exception that prove the rule of justice denied.” Justice must be delivered in communities as well as courtrooms, and victims must receive reparations to rebuild their shattered lives, she said, stressing that “justice, peace and security are inextricably linked.”

Murad said at moments of global instability – like today’s world shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, a climate crisis and war – issues like conflict-related sexual violence “tend to be pushed aside as though they are somehow secondary to the real issues.” But she said “the truth is these are precisely the moment when protecting, supporting and investing in women and girls should be urgent priorities.”

History shows that when conflict erupts brutality comes to the fore, and “we are seeing this in Ukraine as we speak, with reports of sexual violence that should alarm us.” Later, she told reporters, “my heart is with the people of Ukraine, especially the women and girls out there that are facing this brutality.”

“Sexual violence is not a side effect of conflict,” Murad said. “It is a tactic of war as old as time.”

Last year, a German court convicted an Islamic State member of genocide in a Yazidi girl’s death in a historic verdict, she said. But despite reams of evidence documenting atrocities IS committed against women and girls, she said the extremist perpetrators have faced few, if any, consequences.

Murad said survivors need “more than moral outrage” and urged the Security Council to vote to refer the Islamic State extremist group to the International Criminal Court to be tried for genocide and sexual violence. against Yazidis. In the meantime, she urged other countries to follow Germany´s example and use the principle of universal jurisdiction to try alleged perpetrators for war crimes.

“If you want to establish deterrence, if you want to assure Yazidi women and survivors everywhere that you stand with us, do not delay justice anymore,” she said.

Britain´s Minister of State Lord Tariq Ahmad, who chaired the meeting, joined her in launching “The Murad Code” which aims to tell investigators, journalists and others in the international community how to support survivors of sexual violence by reducing the burden on them and ensuring that their experiences are recorded safely and strengthen the pursuit of justice.

“The pathway to justice must have obstacles removed,” he said. “So ultimately, it´s all about survivors, that they know what their options are. … They have to be the center of our response.”

_____________

Posted in Ethiopia, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

_______________________________

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

 
%d bloggers like this: