The Tigrayan group in South Africa is demanding a United Nations-led investigation into the alleged atrocities and has questioned the credibility of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, a government-established agency, as an investigator of crimes in which government troops may be implicated.
“The decision to accept the offer (by the Ethiopian government) to join the investigation will reverse the call for an independent international UN-mandated investigation into the government-sponsored crime committed,” the group demonstrating in Pretoria said in a statement.
Human rights groups have raised concerns about the humanitarian situation in Tigray.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday acknowledged publicly for the first time that atrocities have been reported in the region and that troops from neighboring Eritrea had gone into Tigray. Abiy spoke the same day a new report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission confirmed some atrocities, including the alleged killing by Eritrean troops of over 100 people on Nov. 28 and the following day in the sacred city of Axum.
Eritrea had repeatedly denied its troops were operating in Tigray, and Information Minister Yemane G. Meskel said in a Twitter post on Thursday that “defamation campaigns against Eritrea have been ramped up” in recent days.
The humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders reported Wednesday that its staff had seen Ethiopian troops shooting and killing at least four civilian men in Tigray on Tuesday. Ethiopian authorities have not responded to that allegation.
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