Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International Report Methodologically Weak: Ann Fitz

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The Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International Report is methodologically flawed and has no forensic investigation, Director of the Balsillie School of International Affairs Ann Fitz-Gerald told ENA.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Fitz-Gerald said Forensic evidence is absolutely critical in investigations like this as it is a comprehensive approach to investigating all mass graves and not just focusing on one.

“My view it is that it is methodologically weak and there are arguments that presupposed a connection between the most graves and the current conflict. Forensic evidence is absolutely critical in investigations like this as it is a comprehensive approach to investigating all mass graves and not just focusing on one,” she elaborated.

A team from the University of Gondar  has studied this issue for over a year, she stated, and stressed “they were not consulted at all despite their work.”

Fitz-Gerald underscored “the researchers did not go to the site where the evidence supposedly existed despite the fact that other journalists and researchers have been there for months.”

According to her, questions have been raised as to why there was a rush to release the poor report in 2 days in advance of the planned release of the University of Gondar report.

The content does not lead to the conclusion of the report, the Director argued, and explained “strong recommendations and conclusions and findings were presented in the report for which in my view sufficient evidence in the content of the report does not exist.”

Speaking of the HR 6600 and S3199, Fitz-Gerald asserted that the impact of sanctions is severe. Sanctions are not a passing sound and they linger.

If you consult the Sudanese people about the impact of sanctions on them, they will tell you even today they still feel under sanction, she stated, and noted “the sanctions that are being posed through the bills that are being proposed in the House and on the Senate in the United State are no exception.”

Furthermore, she pointed out that the conflict affected regions in Ethiopia need rebuilding.

Misinformation and disinformation is a characteristics of insurgency warfare, she stated, and added “very badly this level of misinformation and disinformation often feeds into the perspectives of international actors and other international partners.”  

Fitz-Gerald underscored “it is critical that the analysis around the crisis in Ethiopia moves forward and in an evidence based way.”