EHRC urges civilian protection, access to humanitarian assistance
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) called on both the Federal and the Tigray regional armed forces to ensure the safety and security of civilians and respect human rights at all times.
In a statement released on Thursday, November 5, 2020, the Commission pointed out that it is gravely concerned and is closely monitoring the fast-developing security situation in Tigray region and other parts of the country.
EHRC Chief Commissioner, Daniel Bekele, said: “EHRC urges both federal and regional security forces to ensure the safety and security of civilians and respect human rights at all times.”
He added: “As Parliament convenes to discuss the approval of the State of Emergency declared in Tigray, it should in particular consider ensuring humanitarian access and support including for food, medicine and other essential civilian services, to avoid a complete blockade of communication and transport facilities.”
The commissioner reminded all parties that Tigray region is host to several thousands of refugees.
Other regional and international agencies have also joined the commissioner’s call for safety of civilians.
In the meantime, the Ethiopian National Defense Forces vowed to take maximum precaution to avoid any civilian casualties, citing its first day of operations on Wednesday against the armed forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) as a success.
In a press conference issued on Thursday, General Berhanu Jula, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), said the TPLF group has committed treason by attacking the national army.
General Berhanu further told journalists that members of the army are helping wounded Tigray Special Force members by taking them to medical centers.