Eritrea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs disclosed on November 3 a document commenting and responding to the UN communiqué that on the same day announced the disclosure of the Joint Investigation Report on human rights violations in the Tigray conflict, produced by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Asmara, the document in question raises numerous legal, methodological and factual issues, requiring rigorous scrutiny in terms of the jurisdiction of the bodies that conducted the research, on the criteria of neutrality and impartiality of the investigators, the credibility of the witnesses heard and the mechanisms to validate the veracity of the information gathered, and not least the robustness and validity of the inferences and conclusions drawn.
According to the Eritrean government, the report is deficient in almost all of the parameters set forth. The director of the EHRC, Daniel Bekele, is accused by the Eritrean authorities of being notoriously animated by feelings of visceral hostility towards Eritrea, undermining the possibility of an impartial conduct in the management of the report.
The UN itself is accused of having supported what the Eritreans define as the “insurgent war” of the TPLF, demonstrating that it is not an impartial actor in the dynamics of crisis that have affected the Tigray region.
The Eritrean Foreign Ministry then insists on the need to understand how the conflict started one ago at the initiative of Tigray forces, who launched a military attack against Ethiopian Federal Army garrisons, leading to the start of a large-scale conflict.
The Eritrean document then dwells on some points of the investigation conducted in the joint report, contesting the validity of the investigation and therefore the veracity of some episodes, including in particular the “Axum massacre”, the allegations of sexual violence and gang rape and the arbitrary killing of refugees.
The document is therefore considered as unreliable and invalid, rejecting every accusation made against the Eritrean forces involved in the conflict and mentioned by the authors of the Joint Report.