NAIROBI, Kenya – Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will be investigated, the United Nations said, under pressure from various groups, including members of the international community, who accuse him of organizing the genocide in the Tigray region .
For the past eight months, the United Nations has monitored atrocities in the Tigray region, with human rights groups accusing the Ethiopian administration of plotting to exterminate Tigrayans in the country over a political grudge that has existed for years .
UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said the global body was “deeply troubled” by reports of continuing violations, including executions in Tigray as elections began in Ethiopia. This is the first time that the UN has spoken “strongly” on the Tigray conflict.
She added that a long-awaited joint investigation into the alleged genocide should be ready by August. A number of organizations, including the African Union, are investigating the alleged genocide in the Tigray region, which has left thousands dead and others displaced.
Already the US and UK have imposed visa restrictions on senior officials from Ethiopia and Eritrea over the Tigray conflict, but the names have yet to be released. However, it is believed that those affected are mainly military generals from both countries.
Eritrean troops continued to occupy Tigray in pursuit of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray [TPLF] fighters now called the Tigray Defense Force [TDF] but have been linked to massive human rights violations including, but not limited to, mass killings and rapes.
In a response, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed denied allegations that ENDF and Eritrean troops are starving the Tigray community by cutting off supply routes. According to the United Nations, more than 350,000 people are facing famine and famine.
ENDF troops launched a first operation in Tigray in November 2020 when the TPLF was accused of attacking the Northern Command. But a number of rights groups insist civilians have borne the brunt of the war, which analysts say could linger for a few months.
Abiy Ahmed has been accused of waging war in his country, even as some critics questioned his victory of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019. Since winning the lucrative prize, Ethiopia has faced a litany challenges, including the escalation of ethnic cleansing, especially in Oromia. and Amhara.
On Monday, Ethiopia went to elections that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called “peaceful and credible” just after the polls closed. Most parts of the country, including the Tigray region, did not take part in the vote, with the electoral commission postponing them until September.
Abiy’s Prosperity Party is widely expected to win the ballot box as the main opposition parties boycotted. The Tigray crisis has tarnished Ahmed’s reputation, with the international community now warning him of crimes against humanity.