HR Experts Commission Report Weak as Numerous Empirical Studies Exist on Widespread TPLF Atrocities: Prof. Fitz-Gerald

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Addis Ababa September 23/2022/ENA/The International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) report issued recently is weak because there were numerous empirical studies that have been done on widespread TPLF atrocities, International Security Professor Ann Fitz-Gerald said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, she stated that the people in Afar and Amhara regions were deeply affected, and the evidence was widespread all over the places.

The professor said the implementation of rule of law must be based on evidence and enabling space for other evidence must be collected, forensic undertaken, et cetera. Yet this has not just happened.

“This emerged as very obvious weakness of the report, especially there were numerous empirical studies that have been done on widespread TPLF large atrocities. The implementation of rule of law must be based on evidence and enabling space for other evidence must be collected, forensic  undertaken, et cetera; and it has not just happened yet.”

Fitz-Gerald explained that when she had traveled across Afar and Amhara regions, she saw people in areas like northern and South West Wollo, and Northern Afar deeply affected.

“The evidence was widespread all over the places. Listening to how the fighting has impacted families, and it is very sad to not get into Tigray as well and speak to families actually in the region as well as families who have fled and come over the border,” the professor added.

She believes that the research had some issues concerning methodology and investigation to human rights atrocities and violations.

“Comprehensive studies are necessary that look at the affected conflict space; and there has been an error I believe on the part of the international civil society to refer to this conflict as the Tigray conflict when most of the fighting and most of the battle space has been located in Amhara and Afar (regions). Fellow Tigrayans are deeply affected by this conflict, there is no doubt about that. But, the actual war fighting has been taking place in Amhara and Afar.”

According to her, it is very questionable based on that evidence as to why this issue is to be referred to as Tigray conflict. “I think there is a swell of TPLF propaganda; and the TPLF affiliates want to project that message so that the attention will come to Tigray. But, this is a conflict in northern Ethiopia and I think some international policy leaders have changed the narrative to reflect that.”

The International Security Professor noted also that this human right commission didn’t have a large mandate and huge level of support that some similar studies had.

“When we don’t have a huge amount of support on large mandate, this becomes reflected in the resources made available for such studies to be carried out,” she said.

It is to be recalled that the Ethiopian government categorically rejected the report of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE).

The commission presented its initial findings on the conflict in northern Ethiopia with the intention to demonize the Government of Ethiopia.