Ethiopia - June 2023
Enforced disappearances on the rise in Ethiopia, says rights commission
In a press release issued on 5 June, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) called for the government to end enforced disappearances, which the Commission has observed to have increased in the aftermath of the war in the Tigray region and in connection with conflicts elsewhere, including those in the regions of Amhara and Oromia. The EHRC said it was monitoring cases across the country, but that the situation was particularly acute in the capital, Addis Ababa and in Oromia and Amhara. Victims have included members of the Ethiopian National Defence Force and opposition political parties, some of whom allege that they were tortured.
Rights organisation reports continued ‘ethnic cleansing’ in western Tigray
On 1 June, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report alleging the continuation of a war-time campaign to ethnically cleanse the western part of Ethiopia’s Tigray region (the Western Tigray Zone), despite the Tigray war having been formally ended by the peace deal signed in November 2022. According to the report, ethnic Tigrayans continue to be expelled from the Western Tigray Zone by the local authorities there and by ethnic militia from the neighbouring Amhara region, who have controlled the territory since November 2020, when they captured it from the Tigrayan regional authorities early in the Tigray war. As was reported by human rights organisations during the war, HRW said that Tigrayans are being subjected to arbitrary detention, torture, and forced deportation on the basis of their ethnicity. The Ethiopian government rejected the report’s findings, saying they were ‘not substantiated by evidence.’