Ethiopia rights probe extended after close vote at U.N. body

GENEVA (Reuters) - Countries voted on Friday to extend a U.N.-mandated monitoring mission for a war in Ethiopia where investigators have found "reasonable grounds to believe" that parties to the conflict have committed serious rights violations, including war crimes.

The resolution brought by the Czech Republic on behalf of the European Union passed with 21 in favour, 19 against and 7 abstentions. It was rejected by all the African members currently on the 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council, even those which often side with the West on human rights issues.

Ethiopia's government has been fighting the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) since late 2020 although there was a ceasefire of several months from March to August. The conflict has killed thousands, displaced millions and pushed parts of Tigray into famine.

Following the resolution, the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia's mandate has been renewed for another year until December 2023.

The commission was set up by the Human Rights Council.

(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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