Ethiopian Government Rejects HRW Report On Ethnic Cleansing In War-Torn Tigray

The Ethiopian government on Tuesday rejected accusations by Human Rights Watch (HRW) that alleges that an ethnic cleansing campaign is currently going on in western Tigray, reported Africa News.

The statement comes after the HRW’s report issued last week said that the November peace agreement to end the two-year conflict in Tigray had not stopped ethnic cleansing in the disputed Western Tigray Zone.

The HRW’s report is based on interviews conducted between September 2022 and April 2023. The rights group members interviewed 35 witnesses, victims, and aid agency staff. It appealed to the Ethiopian government to suspend, investigate, and punish all those implicated in serious rights abuses in Western Tigray.

On Tuesday, Ethiopia’s Government Communication Service said in a statement that the allegations are not based on any evidence. It said that the report is distorted, gives a misleading portrayal of the situation in Tigray, attempts to undermine peaceful coexistence and fuel inter-ethnic conflict, and also obstructs the national efforts for peace and reconciliation.

The war between Ethiopia’s federal army and its allies and the regional forces from Tigray began in November 2020. The federal forces swiftly captured the Western Tigray region during the war.

The HRW’s report claims that a concerted campaign of forced expulsions began in earnest and has not let up despite the November peace deal.

In response, the Ethiopian government said the US-based rights group made the allegations without conducting a thorough and credible investigation in all areas affected by the conflict.

The government said it has begun nationwide consultations for transitional justice that will enable a comprehensive investigation. The statement said the truth will be told and perpetrators of crimes will be held accountable.

Notably, last year, the Ethiopian government refused to permit an international commission of UN experts access to the northern Ethiopian region.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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