Ethiopia Rejects EU-backed Resolution at UN rights Council over Tigray

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has rejected the European Union-backed resolution at the UN Human Rights Council on the situation in its northern region of Tigray.

Officials at the Geneva-based Human Rights Council signed off on an EU-backed resolution, which expressed “deep concern” about right abuses in Tigray and called for the swift withdrawal of Eritrean troops, on Tuesday morning.

Anita Pipan of Slovenia, who presented the resolution on behalf of the EU, said an independent investigation was needed into the alleged abuses in Tigray.

Ethiopia said adopting the resolution can wait at least the ongoing investigation involving the UN run its course. Eritrea also hit back saying its troops left the region.

Ethiopia has already agreed to a joint investigation into the alleged human rights crimes.

The joint team – involving the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, commenced its investigation in May this year and is expected to finalize its work in August 2021.

‘Failed Appeal’

Ethiopia has been appealing for the withdrawal of the resolution since the EU proposed the resolution to the UN Human Rights Council, said the spokesperson office of ministry of foreign affairs.

The appeal was “on the premise that first, it is premature, and second, it interferes with and undermines the integrity of the ongoing joint investigations,” said the spokesperson of Ethiopia’s foreign ministry.

The country, the office said, made its case clear before the Council, pleaded for the investigation to run its course and called on the august body to provide the necessary time and space for the investigations to be completed.

“All its efforts, however, were to no avail and, in its view, there is no moral nor legal ground to justify the untimely adoption of a politically motivated resolution,” the office added.

“Constructive engagement, rather than a hasty decision by the Council, would have contributed to expeditiously bring the ongoing efforts to a successful conclusion,” it said.

“For these reasons, Ethiopia rejects this resolution,” said the spokesperson office that described the adoption of the EU-backed resolution as “untimely” and “politically motivated”.

The government, however, affirmed its commitment to the ongoing and added “those who were involved in committing crimes will be brought to justice and punished to the full extent of the law”.

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