EU calls for investigation into ‘ethnically targeted’ violence in Ethiopia

EU calls for investigation into ‘ethnically targeted’ violence in Ethiopia

By Zoe Didili, December 29, 2020
Journalist, New Europe

investigation violence Ethiopia
An Ethiopian refugee woman with her child from Tigray region wait to receive aid at the Um Rakuba refugee camp, the same camp that hosted Ethiopian refugees during the famine in the 1980s, some 80 kilometers from the Ethiopian-Sudan border in Sudan, 01 December 2020 (issued 02 December 2020).

(New Europe) — Ethiopia should “impartially” investigate and hold accountable those responsible for the massacre in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, the EU’s External Action Service (EEAS) has said, voicing concerns over what it sees as “ethnically targeted violence.”

Information provided by the state-run Ethiopian Human Rights Commission showed that last week’s attack by gunmen in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, an area where multiple ethnic groups are living, killed more than 100 people.

“Ongoing reports of non-Ethiopian involvement raise additional worries,” EEAS said in a statement on December 25, whilst praising Sudan for providing shelter to Ethiopians fleeing the conflict.

According to data provided by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), since the beginning of the conflict in the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia, more than 40,000 Ethiopian refugees have fled to neighbouring Sudan. In its statement, the bloc’s foreign service stressed that all refugees and displaced people within Tigray and beyond should be protected from any act of forced and premature relocation or return, and that all parties to the conflict should uphold international humanitarian law, primarily by ensuring the safety of aid workers.

WFP is on the ground providing emergency food and logistics support, as the country had already been struggling to deal with a humanitarian crisis caused by conflict, acts of terrorism, a deepening economic crisis, unprecedented floods, a locusts outbreak, and the coronavirus pandemic.

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