U.S., five other countries urge Ethiopia to cease illegal detentions


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Six countries including the United States expressed concern on Monday over reports of widespread arrests by Ethiopia of Tigrayan citizens based on ethnicity in connection with the country's year-old conflict, urging the government to stop acts they said likely violate international law.

The United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands cited reports by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the rights group Amnesty International on widespread arrests of ethnic Tigrayans, including Orthodox priests, older people and mothers with children.

The countries said they are "profoundly concerned" about the detentions of people without charges, adding that the government's announcement of a state of emergency last month offered "no justification" for mass detentions.

"Individuals are being arrested and detained without charges or a court hearing and are reportedly being held in inhumane conditions. Many of these acts likely constitute violations of international law and must cease immediately," the six countries said in a joint statement.

They urged Ethiopia's government to allow unhindered access by international monitors.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's spokesperson Billene Seyoum and Ethiopian government spokesperson Legesse Tulu did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the statement.

The conflict between Ethiopian's federal government and the leadership of Tigray has killed thousands of civilians, forced millions to flee their homes and made more than 9 million people dependent on food aid.

Ethiopia, Africa's second-largest nation and a regional diplomatic heavyweight, was once an ally for Western security forces seeking to counter Islamist extremism. Relations have soured amid increasing allegations of human rights abuses committed during the conflict.

The joint statement reiterated grave concern over human rights abuses including sexual violence and ongoing reports of atrocities committed by all sides.

"It is clear that there is no military solution to this conflict, and we denounce any and all violence against civilians, past, present and future," the statement said.

Both sides in Ethiopia accuse each other of committing atrocities and both have denied the allegations.

The six countries in the statement called on the parties to the conflict to negotiate a sustainable ceasefire, reiterating calls from the United States and others for Ethiopia's government and Tigrayan forces to declare a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to enter Tigray.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Will Dunham and Ed Osmond)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In World

N.Korea fires suspected ballistic missile - Japan
Horses jump bonfires as Spain's purification ceremony returns after pandemic break
Ahead of election, Macron banks on rosy French economy, new jobs
Who’s watching? How governments used the pandemic to normalise surveillance
Australia, New Zealand step up efforts to aid tsunami-hit Tonga
Biden, Japan PM Kishida to hold bilateral talks on Friday-White House
French parliament approves vaccine pass
U.N. mission in Mali grounds flights amid sanctions restrictions
Anti-vaccine far-right rally attracts hundreds in Hungary
Former Ukraine president defies arrest threat in showdown with successor

Others Also Read


Vouchers