Report Makes Clear TPLF Triggered Conflict, Committed Most Egregious Violations: PM Abiy

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Addis Ababa, November 3/2021 (ENA) As the JIT report released today makes it abundantly clear, the TPLF triggered the tragic conflict and committed some of the most egregious violations and abuses, many of which the international community has chosen to ignore or minimize, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released today a joint investigation into alleged human rights violations and abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law, and refugee law committed in the context of the conflict in Tigray.

In his statement,  the permier said: “In many respects the findings of the JIT are consistent with our own investigation. As the report makes it abundantly clear, the TPLF triggered the tragic conflict and committed some of the most egregious violations and abuses, many of which the international community has chosen to ignore or minimize.”

“We are mindful that the temporal and geographic scope of the report is very limited and extends only to events that transpired in the Tigray region until the end of June 2021,” he elaborated.

As a result, the report does not include the horrific brutality that the terrorist group has committed against civilians in Afar and Amhara regional states, the PM stated.

According to him, it does not also address the campaign of massacre the TPLF’s proxies and allies have committed in places like western Oromia.

However, the finding of the JIT, consistent with the government’s on-going investigation, establishes that the TPLF forces have committed horrific acts of human right violations ranging from “ethnic-cleansing,” torture, mass killing, sexual violence and attacks, and other atrocities prior to June 2021.

Following the unilateral ceasefire and withdrawal of all government forces from Tigray region at the end of June 2021, TPLF chose to expand the conflict into neighboring Afar and Amhara regions and continued to commit similar acts of atrocities in these regions.

These wanton acts of cruelty by the terrorist group and its affiliates underscore the need to neutralize its capability to wreak havoc and brutalize civilians, Abiy added.

“Our investigation is ongoing and we will continue to approach the matter in a comprehensive and concerted manner with a view to providing redress to victims, ensuring accountability and undertaking preventive measures.”

To accomplish this goal, the premier revealed that he is establishing a high level inter-ministerial task force, composed of the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Peace, the Minister of Social and Women’s Affairs, a state Minister of Finance, and a state Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The task force will have the mandate to craft, adopt, and oversee the implementation of a comprehensive strategy that would enable us to investigate the allegations included in the report, bring all perpetrators of serious crimes to justice, and provide the redress and the psycho-social support needed for victims of these violations, in particular, victims of gender-based atrocities.

It will also have the mandate to establish a specialized joint civil-military investigative and prosecutorial unit with the requisite operational autonomy to ensure accountability through a transparent and robust legal process.