ADDIS ABABA – Group of Seven (G7) countries called on Friday for an impartial investigation into crimes allegedly committed in Ethiopia’s northern region.
In a joint statement issued today, foreign ministers of the seven countries said they “are strongly concerned about recent reports on human rights violations and abuses, and violations” of humanitarian law in Tigray.
“We recognize recent commitments made by the Government of Ethiopia to hold accountable those responsible for such abuses and look forward to seeing these commitments implemented,” reads the statement.
They also welcomed the agreement between Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to conduct a joint investigation.
Their probe will look into the human rights abuses committed by all parties in the context of the Tigray conflict.
“It is essential that there is an independent, transparent and impartial investigation into the crimes reported and that those responsible for these human rights abuses are held to account,” they said.
The development comes after fighting began in the north Ethiopian state on 4 November last year, between the former ruling party of the region, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), and the federal government forces.
The foreign ministers also “condemned the killing of civilians,” and urged all parties to “exercise utmost restraint, ensure the protection of civilians”.
They also welcomed the recent announcement from Prime Minister Abiy that Eritrean forces will withdraw from Tigray.
“This process must be swift, unconditional, and verifiable,” they said.
The countries urged all parties to the conflict to provide immediate, unhindered humanitarian access.
“We the G7 members stand ready to support humanitarian efforts and investigations into human rights abuses,” they added.
Months of fighting between the TPLF and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces backed by allied forces have reportedly left thousands of people dead, tens of thousands of others displaced, and millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
[Featured Image AFP]