Amnesty International on Thursday criticized the November 2 peace accord signed in South Africa by the government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) over war crimes in Tigray and elsewhere.
The human rights organization said that the agreement “fails to offer a clear roadmap on how to ensure accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and overlooks rampant impunity in the country, which could lead to violations being repeated.”
It called on the African Union to “put pressure” on the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali to fully cooperate with local and international human rights experts.
“The African Union must urgently pressure the Ethiopian government to fully cooperate with both regional and international investigative mechanisms on human rights to ensure justice for victims and survivors of violations — especially sexual violence,” said Flavia Mwangovya, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the Great Lakes Region.
“The Ethiopian authorities must urgently allow unfettered access to the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights to enable investigations to take place, and ultimately to ensure those responsible for atrocities in Ethiopia’s two-year conflict face justice,” added Mwangovya.
Amnesty International’s assessment of the peace deal came on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, and the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. It reiterated its call to mediators in the ongoing peace process on Ethiopia to prioritize justice for survivors, including survivors of sexual violence in the two-year conflict.
Amnesty International noted that all parties to the armed conflict in Ethiopia, which pits forces aligned with Ethiopia’s federal government, including the Eritrean army, against those affiliated with Tigray’s regional government led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), “have committed serious human rights violations and abuses, including extrajudicial executions, summary killings and sexual violence against women and girls. Abuses documented by Amnesty International in the conflict include war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
On November 2, 2022, Amnesty International launched a campaign which highlights the atrocities committed by all sides to the conflict, and called on the international community to stand in solidarity with survivors and victims of sexual violence during the conflict. And on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Amnesty International said that it will hold an exhibition in Nairobi at the Baraza Media Lab, in which a documentary film will highlight the demands for justice by survivors of sexual violence during the conflict in Ethiopia.
The exhibition will also be showcased in London on November 28-29, 2022, during the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) Conference.