The United Nations is seeking access to Ethiopia’s northern region, Tigray, as it aims to probe war crimes after reports of killings and sexual violence in the region.
UN Human Rights Chief, Michelle Bachelet has asked the country’s government to grant access to its monitors who want to investigate the incidents that may be war crimes.
In a statement released on Thursday, Bachelet said multiple parties have been identified as key players in the alleged war crimes and they include the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Ethiopian National Defence Forces, Eritrean Armed Forces, Amhara regional forces and allied militia.
Bachelet says there are persistent and credible reports of grave human rights violations in Tigray, which was some months ago, the theatre of war in Ethiopia as the TPLF battled Ethiopian forces.
The UN said it has been able to corroborate information about “indiscriminate shelling in Mekelle, Humera and Adigrat towns in Tigray region.”
The Ethiopian government has also been charged to protect witnesses to the incidents against reprisals.
Bachelet also expressed concern at detentions this week in Tigray of journalists and translators working for local and international media.
The statement by the human rights office of the UN said although the journalists have now been released, there have been worrying remarks by a Government official that those responsible for “misleading international media” would be held responsible.