The G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US issued a statement on Friday calling for an independent and transparent investigation into alleged human rights abuses in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
There has been ongoing conflict between central government soldiers and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the northern Ethiopia region of Tigray. On March 17, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet agreed to joint investigations with Ethiopia into possible war crimes committed in Tigray.
On March 22, several UN officials called for a stop to “indiscriminate and targeted attacks against civilians, including rape and other horrific forms of sexual violence.” On March 25, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights agreed to conduct a joint investigation into humans rights violations and abuses allegedly committed by all involved in the ongoing conflict.
On Friday, the G7 countries jointly issued a statement expressing concern about recent reports of human rights violations and abuses, as well as international humanitarian law violations, in Tigray. The countries condemned the killing of civilians, gender-based violence, indiscriminate shelling, and displacement of Tigray residents and Eritrean refugees. The statement urged all parties to “exercise utmost restraint, ensure the protection of civilians and respect humans rights and international law.”
The countries recognized that Ethiopia had agreed to an investigation into human rights violations, stating that an “independent, transparent and impartial investigation” into the allegations was essential. The statement closed with a call for the end of violence and a declaration that the G7 countries “stand ready to support humanitarian efforts and investigations into human rights abuses.”