The United States, Germany, France, and other G7 countries called on Friday for an independent and transparent investigation into alleged human rights violations during the conflict North Tigray area of Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Federal Army overthrew the former regional government party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), from the capital Mekelle in November. They have driven hundreds of thousands to flee their homes, and thousands of people have died. Reportedly, there are also shortcomings in food, water, and medicine in the region. The government said most battles had stopped, but there was still an isolated shooting incident.
The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, said last week Eritrea had agreed to pull out troops that had been sent during a battle in the Ethiopian region along their reciprocal borders while covering human rights violations. However, the Eritrean government categorically denied its troops joining the conflict. Foreign Ministers of G7 countries, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States and EU Foreign Policy Head Josep Borrell expressed their concerns in a shared statement.
“All parties must fully restrain, ensure the protection of civilians and respect human rights and international law,” they said. “It is imperative that there are an independent, transparent investigation and impartial on reported crimes and that those responsible for violations of human rights must be held accountable for their actions,” the ministers said.
They say the withdrawal of the federal government’s forces from Tigray must be fast, unconditionally, and verified and reinstate a political process that all Ethiopians can accept must be regulated that leads to credible elections and the national reconciliation process. In March, the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry said it was ready to work with international human rights experts to investigate allegations of violations.