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UN Human Rights Commissioner calls for inquiry into the Mai-Kadra massacre

UN Human Rights Commissioner calls for inquiry into the Mai-Kadra massacre

The United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, called for a full inquiry into the Mai-Kadra massacre after Amnesty International (AI) released a report confirming the situation.

Released through the media center of the UN Human Rights office of the High Commissioner on November 13, 2020, her statement reads “if confirmed as having been deliberately carried out by a party to the current fighting, these killings of civilians would of course amount to war crimes, and there must be an independent investigation and full accountability for what has happened.”

The report by one of the world’s reputable human rights organizations, Amnesty International (AI), highlighted how the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) stands accused of stabbing, hacking and killing “likely hundreds” of people on the night of November 9, 2020. 

“We have confirmed the massacre of a very large number of civilians, who appear to have been day labourers in no way involved in the ongoing military offensive. This is a horrific tragedy whose true extent only time will tell as communication in Tigray remains shut down,” Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa said in a statement.

Bachelet urged “the first priority right now must be to stop the fighting and prevent any further atrocities from taking place.”

A ceasefire has been impossible to achieve as parties have placed conditions that are far apart. The European Union, the African Union and others have continued to call for a ceasefire. According to donors, the fighting is likely to affect thousands of people and there is fear it might spill to other nations. 

Bachelet warned that if the conflict grows, “there is a risk this situation will spiral totally out of control, leading to heavy casualties and destruction, as well as mass displacement within Ethiopia itself and across borders,” echoing the concerns of AI.  

There has not been any communication mode available for anyone, including aid organizations, to transport desperate goods needed to the population of the state, which is also home to refugees from neighboring nations such as Eritrea.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) announced today that 7,000 people fled to neighboring Sudan until November 11, 2020, looking for shelter from aid organizations. 

In the meantime, AI has asked the Ethiopian government to investigate the incident in the South-West region of Tigray. 

“The Ethiopian authorities must immediately, thoroughly, impartially and effectively investigate this blatant attack on civilians and bring those responsible to justice in fair trials,” its report stated.