Human Rights Council 52nd Session: statement on Ethiopia

On Tuesday 21 March 2023, Every Casualty Counts, the Amhara Association of America and the ‘Tigray War Project’ at Ghent University, delivered an oral statement to the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia as part of the UN Human Rights Council’s 52nd Session.

The statement raises concerns about the obstacles to gathering and verifying information on casualties in the Tigray region, and the limitations of the Commission’s resources.

Every Casualty Counts, the Amhara Association of America (AAA) and the ‘Tigray War‘ database project at Ghent University have been documenting deaths from the ongoing armed violence in Tigray and surrounding areas.

Allegations of massacres and other unlawful killings frequently come to light only via social media or testimonies of refugees and internally displaced persons gathered by civil society casualty recorders. Can the Commission comment on the approach it is taking to gather and verify detailed information on massacres and other unlawful killings?

Will the Commission conduct further investigations into massacres mentioned in the EHRC-OHCHR Joint Investigation Report, such as the killing of at least 11 villagers in Grizana in March 2021?

In June the Commission warned the Council that it lacked adequate resources to fulfil its mandate thoroughly, highlighting its inability to conduct urgent and thorough investigations into massacres of Amhara civilians in Oromia Region. Does the Commission now have sufficient resources to investigate war crimes and other atrocities in all regions affected by armed violence, including Afar, Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Oromia, Somali, and Tigray?

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