A group of African civil society advocates called on the United Nations (UN) to take immediate action to prevent an impending genocide in Ethiopia.
In a joint statement signed by 34 civic organizations and 31 activists from across the continent, they warned that the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia could lead to mass deaths if not dealt with amicably.
“On behalf of concerned Africans and humanity everywhere, we call on you to show leadership in taking urgent action to prevent an impending genocide in Ethiopia,” reads letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
“In the absence of such action, we believe that genocide is likely to occur under your watch as Secretary General, which will be a stain not only on your record as such, but also on our humanity. collective right now. “
Under international law, genocide means the targeted elimination of a certain group of people on the basis of their race, ethnicity or religion.
This has happened in the past, such as the extermination of Jews by the Nazis in Germany in the early 1940s, the murder of ethnic Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994, the killings of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia in the late 1970s. and the massacres of Armenians in the early 1900s.
But the definitions have been criticized for focusing more on the number of deaths than on the destruction it causes. In Ethiopia, an earlier investigation by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission concluded that there had been atrocities committed by both sides during the war, but did not qualify the killings as genocide.
The Ethiopian National Defense Forces have been fighting for a year the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (TPLF), a former ruling party that Ethiopia now accuses of terrorism.
In turn, the TPLF accused allied Ethiopian and Eritrean forces of seeking to eliminate the Tigers. Efforts to bring the parties to the table have failed.
And activists said UN chief Guterres should work with the International Committee of the Red Cross to compile all internment centers in Ethiopia and ensure ICRC access, tracking and monitoring of conditions. .
“Deploy without further delay your Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide (SAPG), Ms. Alice Nderitu, to an urgent assessment mission in Ethiopia. Liaise with member states to convene a special session of the Human Rights Council on Ethiopia, ”the groups said.
“Obtain a clear statement from the Security Council on the commitment to the prevention of genocide in Ethiopia and the authorization of measures to follow up on this commitment and provide a clear commitment from the Secretary-General to ensure the prevention of genocide in Ethiopia. “
Signatories at 5 p.m. on November 26, 2021
African Center for Open Governance (AfriCOG)
African Initiative for Peacebuilding, Advocacy and Advancement (AfriPeace), Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
African Union Watch, Banjul, Gambia
Atrocities Watch Africa (AWA), Kampala, Uganda
Cameroon Women’s Movement for Peace (CAWOPEM)
Center for Democracy and Development (CDD), Nigeria
Burundian Coalition of Home Rights Defenders (CBDDH), Burundi
Coalition of Human Rights Defenders of Benin, Benin
Malian Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, Mali
Togolese Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (CTDDH), Togo
Burkinabè Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (CBDDH), Burkina Faso
Ivorian Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, Côte d’Ivoire
Coalition for an Effective African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACC), Arusha, Tanzania
Forum for the Strengthening of Civil Society (FORSC), Burundi
Gender Center for Development Empowerment (GenCED)
Hope Advocates Africa (HADA)
Sierra Leone Human Rights Defenders Network
Media Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (IM2DH)
International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI), Kampala, Uganda
Movement of Women and Girls for Peace and Security in Burundi, Burundi
Mozambique Human Rights Defenders Network
Nawi – Afrifem Macroeconomic Collective, Nairobi, Kenya
Network of Independent Human Rights Commissions in North Africa
Nigerian Focal Point for Human Rights Defenders, Nigeria
Pan-African Citizens Network (PACIN), Nairobi, Kenya
Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), Arusha, Tanzania
Citizen Probe Network (RCP), Burundi
Network of Human Rights Defenders in Central Africa
Nigerien Network of Human Rights Defenders
West African Network of Human Rights Defenders
Southern African Human Rights Defenders Network (Southern Defenders)
Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA), Nairobi, Kenya
Victim Advocates International (VAI), Nairobi, Kenya
Youth Forum for Social Justice
Achieng AKENA, Executive Director, International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI), Kampala, Uganda
Ida BADJO, Togo
Joseph BIKANDA, Cameroon
Professor Danwood CHIRWA, Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Maître Francis DAKO, Lawyer Benin
Caryn DASAH, Cameroon
Donald DEYA, Director General, Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), Arusha, Tanzania
Adaobi EGBOKA, human rights lawyer, Nigeria
Chibuzo EKWEKUO, Lawyer, Abuja, Nigeria
Hannah FORSTER, President, CSO Coalition on Elections, Banjul, Gambia
Immaculate HUNJA, Movement of Women and Girls for Peace and Security in Burundi, Burundi
James GONDI, human rights lawyer, Nairobi, Kenya
Ibrahima KANE, Lawyer, Senegal
Naji Moulay LAHSEN, Morocco
Bonaventure N’Coué MAWUVI, Togo
Alvin MOSIOMA, Executive Director, Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA), Nairobi, Kenya
Vera MSHANA, New York, United States of America (US)
Salima NAMUSOBYA, Social and Economic Rights Initiative (ISER), Kampala, Uganda
Stella W. NDIRANGU, Human Rights Lawyer, Nairobi, Kenya
Dismas NKUNDA, Executive Director, Atrocities Watch Africa (AWA), Kampala, Uganda
Bahame Tom NYANDUGA, Acting President, African Union Watch, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Professor Chidi Anselm ODINKALU, Former Chairman, Nigerian National Human Rights Commission, Abuja, Nigeria
Gladwell W. OTIÉNO, Nairobi, Kenya
Charles Donaldson OGIRA
Dr Feyi OGUNADE, Executive Director, African Union Watch
Silas Joseph UN, Manager, Open Bar Initiative, Nigeria
Caylen SANTOS, Shalom Foundation, Franklin, TN
Crystal SIMEONE, Nairobi, Kenya
Mélanie SONHAYE KOMBATE, Togo
Arnold TSUNGA, Lawyer, Zimbabwe
Rosalie Wakesho WAFULA, Lawyer, Kenya