There will be a joint investigation by the United Nations and Ethiopia into alleged war crimes during the conflict in Tigray’s northern Ethiopian region.
UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has agreed on this with Ethiopia, which has filed a request for such an investigation.
Bachelet has “responded positively” to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) request for a joint investigation, a UN spokesperson said. That committee is part of the Ethiopian government. The UN and the EHRC are now developing an investigation plan.
Thousands of people have been killed since last November due to the flare-up between the Ethiopian government army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Hundreds of thousands more people have fled because of the violence.
The United Nations has previously expressed concern about atrocities committed in Tigray. The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken already referred to it as ethnic cleansing, although Ethiopia rejects this allegation.
The Addis Ababa State Department recently indicated that it is ready to work with international human rights experts to investigate allegations of atrocities. In a report last month, Amnesty International said that soldiers from neighbouring Eritrea allegedly killed hundreds of civilians in the city of Axum.
Eritrea denies in all keys, but the EHRC came up with a very similar story to that of Amnesty. That was a rare acknowledgement by Ethiopia that troops from Eritrea are active in the country. Both Ethiopia and Eritrea have repeatedly denied this.