In comprehensive new report, U.S. government exposes human rights abuses in Tigray, Oromia, and the rest of Ethiopia

The United States Department of State on Tuesday released its annual report on human rights around the world, shedding light on the extensive human rights violations that have been going on in Tigray, Oromia, and the rest of Ethiopia.

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U.S. Secretary of State Blinken said Tuesday “We see [human rights abuses] in the killings, sexual assaults, and other atrocities credibly reported in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.”

The report on Ethiopia indicated that although there were initially some positive human rights changes following Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s assumption of office, there has recently been a dramatic increase in ethnic tension and resulting violence.

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Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken introduces President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Vice President Kamala D. Harris to State Department employees, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on February 4, 2021. [State Department Photo by Freddie Everet
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken introduces President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Vice President Kamala D. Harris to State Department employees, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on February 4, 2021. [State Department Photo by Freddie Everet

“On November 4, fighting between the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front Regional Security Force resulted in protracted conflict in the northern Tigray Region and reports of serious and widespread abuses,” said the report.

The report specifically listed human rights issues that have been ongoing in Tigray including indiscriminate killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, sexual violence, harassment, suppression of free expression, corruption, and ethnic violence, amongst other violations.

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The State Department reported very limited access to Tigray, resulting in a general lack of reporting on human rights abuses in the region for quite some time. However, recently more human rights violations have come to light, gaining the attention of the international community, including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The report found that millions of Ethiopians had been displaced from their homes over the past year, most of them having to flee due to violent conflict.

The State Department’s report highlighted many of the wrongdoings of the Ethiopian government and security forces, also noting, “The government at times did not take steps to prosecute officials who committed human rights abuses, resulting in impunity for abusers.”

The report pointed out the assassination of prominent Oromian singer and activist Hachalu Hundessa in late June and gave an account of the violence, riots, arrests, and killings that followed his death.

As mentioned in the report, several opposition leaders arrested during this time are still in detention, awaiting trial. Notably, outspoken Oromian political activist and opposition leader Jawar Mohammed is still in custody today.

The report concluded that Ethiopian and Eritrean federal forces, private militias, TPLF security forces, and other parties “all committed human rights violations and abuses, including extrajudicial killings, sexual assaults, forced displacement of civilian populations, and torture.”

The U.S. State Department also said, “There are reports that government security forces engaged in arbitrary arrests and detentions”- also asserting that conditions in prisons are often “harsh and life-threatening.”

Throughout the report from the State Department, it is consistently made clear that the prolonged conflict in Tigray and surrounding regions has not been constrained to only impact combatants and security forces. Rather, the violence, raping, and killings have arbitrarily targeted civilians, including women and children- resulting in widespread destruction, displacement, and instability.

While the report itself does not offer any practical solutions to combatting the human rights abuses in Ethiopia, it further brings to light the ongoing injustices that have encapsulated the region for some time now.

According to the report, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s assumption to office was followed by positive changes in key human rights areas, such as freedom of speech. This caused many to think that his time in office could be a turning point in the nation’s long-time struggle against authoritarianism and human rights abuses. Abiy was even awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019.

However, the nation has regressed into pervasive and heinous ethnic conflict, violence, and human rights atrocities over the past year, under his leadership.

As more reports and studies on Ethiopia come forth, exposing the humanitarian crisis in Tigray and reflecting the wrongdoings of the federal government, those responsible for these atrocities need to be held accountable for their actions.

As the truth continues to come out, the international community, human rights organizations, and world leaders must band together in order to work to rectify the situation in Ethiopia and protect those who are incapable of protecting themselves.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. ↗Starting from last week until now, many forests are being destroyed by a fire under the command of the Prime minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali.
    ▶He, himself is the first criminal in te country called Ethiopia…he proposed so many fake tribal insecurities inorder to spread genocide which is undergoing by his armed forces (special commandos, federal polices, and the others).
    ➡Please…if you are able to stabilise and establish peace and security in Ethiopia even atleast the human right affairs, join our community voices through our social medias like ‘Oromia National Media, Oromia media Network, Kello Media, VoA Afan Oromo…’

    ↗We are speaking against a dictatorship in Ethiopia which stands for only one nation from 85 nations, nationalities and peoples.

  2. Thank you so much for exposing the war criminal Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia along with Esayas Afewerki of Ertrea, they are responsible for the ongoing Genocide on Tigray, civillians are murdered infront of their monther, small siblings, women and girls has been raped by their troops, all health care facilities, schools, universities, big factories, private properties looted, foods burned, animals taken, they did and still doing everything to wipe out The innocent Tigray people, please please all we want is peace, we want to restore the legally elected government of Tigray so the people of Tigray will be safe as used to be, all we want is immediate withdrawal of Ertrean troops and Amhara millicia who are massacuring/displacing the people of Tigray, we want perpotraters to surve justice justice justice justice, voice for the voiceless, stop #TigrayGenocide

  3. Murder, Rape, pillaging of private property including food and household animals and cars is the MO of Abiy Ahmed Ali, the Eritrean Army and Amhara Militia’s genocide on Tigray. Take action or the blood will continue. We need humanitarian intervention and a peacekeepig force in Tigray Now.

  4. Abiy Ahmed Ali is a pathological liar. When he was making peace with a long standing enemy, African states most dictatorial king, Isayas Afework, he was in fact PREPARING FOR A WAR against the local people, the Tigreans, Oromo, Sidama and others. He is painting himself to have come from the Oromo nation. Who would actually come / born from the Oromo, but want the country to be ruled under the Amhara minority group. Fake peace, fake negotiation with Eritrea, fake noble prize, fake prime minister, and fake Ethiopia. The world is witnessing unseen liar that led to fake prize winning and leading to human disaster. Two mad men Ahmed Ali and Afeworki must be brought to an international criminal tribune and curtailed. Otherwise, we will see loss of millions of human life in that region. It is only the Amhara supporting these mad and world’s most dictatorial rulers.

  5. We’re very tired of this snoop dog, PM Abiy Ahmed. He was migrated Amhara tribe to Oromia state/region, and now He’s a war criminal. Be noted once a gain This Guy, Abiy Ahmed is a war criminal in entire nation and nationalities of Ethiopia.!. We have been reporting so far but no one was lend us their attention. The report is now recently generated after too late! Additionally, Ethiopia is on the turning point to civil war and begin so soon that initiated by Abiy Ahmed himself. Now his administration deserve international sanction and Abiy must resigned and bring him to ICC. He must also return the Award. I the recommender, junior scientist from Ethiopia
    Thank you

  6. thank you for exposing the atrocities and extra judiciary killings Abiy Ahmed Soldiers are commiting and there are a lot of unexposed inhuman acts mostly in Western and Southern Oromiya Regional state of Ethiopia.

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