JIT Findings Asserts Accusation of Genocide, Using Starvation as weapon of war Baseless: PM Abiy

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Addis Ababa November 3/2021 (ENA) The findings of joint investigation team (JIT) report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the UN Human Rights Office released on human rights violations in Tigray region have clearly established the claim of genocide as false and utterly lacking of any factual basis, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said.

The findings also concluded the often-repeated allegation that the Government used hunger as a ‘weapon of war’ is without merit, the premier stated in a statement.    

A joint investigation by EHRC and the UN Human Rights Office released today a report about the alleged human rights violations and abuses committed in the context of the conflict in Tigray region.

According to the statement issued by PM Abiy regarding the report, the JIT findings have clearly established the claim of genocide as false and utterly lacking of any factual basis.

The report also concluded the often-repeated allegation that the Government used hunger as a ‘weapon of war’ is without merit, the statement added.

Specifically, the report stated it did not find evidence to support the claim of “deliberate or willful denial of humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in Tigray or the use of starvation as a weapon of war.”

“We have always known these allegations were false but our enemies have worked tirelessly to mislead the international community,”  Abiy said.

The fact that these fabricated allegations were treated as fact and repeated around the world by news outlets is a sad commentary on the level of due diligence accorded to news reporting when it comes to African affairs, he added.  

Sadly, the premier further stated that a number of countries have relied on these false news reports to take foreign policy measures that greatly undermined Ethiopia’s long-standing relations with them.

“Today, these sinister allegations are laid to rest as products of a well-organized and orchestrated disinformation campaign. We hope the report will cause these nations to reconsider and review policies enacted based on false information.”

The government of Ethiopia has further extended appreciation to the leadership and staff of these two institutions for their endeavor to conduct a professional and credible human rights investigation in very difficult circumstances.

“Although we have some serious reservations concerning some aspects of the report, we recognize and accept the report as an important document that complements our on-going effort to provide redress to victims, ensure accountability, and take preventive measures,” Abiy said in the statement.   

According to the premier, the report documents the harrowing suffering and pain that ordinary Ethiopians have endured since the onset of the conflict, it said adding that the accounts of those whose dignity and humanity have been violated in the context of the conflict is heartbreaking.

Ethiopia welcomes the assistance and cooperation of  its friends and allies as well as international institutions based on our needs and requests, as we continue to ensure the prevalence of the rule of law, the protection of human rights under democratic principles, and continue our political and economic reform to build a stable, peaceful, and prosperous nation, he said.