Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian government has dismissed a report by the US State Department determining atrocities committed in Ethiopia’s two years war that started in the Tigray region and spread to Amhara and Afar regions as “untimely”, “selective”, and “inflammatory”; it also rejected it saying the report “unfairly apportions blame”.
The US said yesterday that it has determined that members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, Eritrean Forces and Amhara forces have committed “crimes against humanity” in the Tigray region, whereas all sides have committed “war crimes.”
“Members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, Eritrean Defense Forces, Tigray People’s Liberation Front forces, and Amhara forces committed war crimes during the conflict in northern Ethiopia,” the US said, and further determined that “members of the Amhara forces also committed the crime against humanity of deportation or forcible transfer and committed ethnic cleansing through their treatment of Tigrayans in western Tigray.”
However, in a statement released through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia has rejected the determination as “untimely”, “selective”, and “inflammatory” and said “it unfairly apportions blame among different parties in the conflict,” and said that it “does not accept blanket condemnation.”
“For no apparent reason, the statement appears to exonerate one party from certain allegations of human rights violations such as rape and other forms of sexual violence despite the clear and overwhelming evidence about its culpability,” the Ministry further said.
It also said that the determination was “untimely” as it came “shortly after the launching of national consultations on options for a transitional justice policy. One of the pillars of transitional justice policy is accountability.”
While releasing the determination , US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that the US welcomes “the commitment that the parties to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement have made to acknowledge the atrocities committed and their devastating consequences. We urge all parties to follow through on their commitments to one another and implement a credible, inclusive, and comprehensive transitional justice process. We additionally call on the Government of Eritrea to ensure comprehensive justice and accountability for those responsible for abuses in Ethiopia.”
Ethiopia said the determination “foresees that there will be further investigations into allegations of the kinds of crimes the statement alleges.”
Calling the determinations as ill-advised “partisan and divisive approach from the US”, Ethiopia also said that it “is implementing the Peace Agreement,” and that such “apportioning of blame is unwarranted and undercuts the support of the US for an inclusive peace process in Ethiopia.” AS