On December 17, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations has voted for the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry in charge of verifying reports of violence in the areas affected by the fighting in Ethiopia. The measure passed with 21 votes in favor, 15 against (including Russia and China) and 11 abstentions.

The decision was taken during the 33rd special session of the Human Rights Council, recalling the urgency dictated by the latest developments in the conflict. The cases of recent violence committed by Tigrayan forces in two villages in the regional state of Amhara, where dozens of civilians were summarily killed, were cited, as well as those perpetrated by the Amhara forces against numerous Tigrayan civilians, killed or forced to leave their homes.

According to the United Nations, the investigations conducted so far in Ethiopia have shed light only “on the tip of the iceberg” of the violence committed by all parties to the conflict, thus requiring a more rigorous inspection action to ascertain the dynamics in progress and the actual nature of the violence perpetrated against the civilian population.

The news has aroused the irritated response of the authorities in Addis Ababa, who have criticized the decision calling it an interference in the internal affairs of the country and, once again, a maneuver to support the rebel forces of Tigray.

During discussion, Ethiopia initially succeeded in obtaining the support of the African group of Council member countries, which had defined the proposed investigation mechanism as counterproductive. At the time of the vote, however, six countries from the African group, including Sudan and Senegal, opted to abstain.

Ethiopia, in expressing its disappointment with the adoption of the measure by the Council, communicated its unwillingness to collaborate. This attitude could make on one hand the work of the investigators almost impossible, and on the other exacerbate even more the relations of the United States and the European Union with Ethiopia.

This consolidates the federal government’s narrative built around the vision of an international plot against Ethiopia, hatched at the hands of the United States and the Europeans in support of what Addis Ababa considers the terrorist forces of the Tigrinya TPLF.


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