In a statement released Friday by the office of the Attorney General, the Ethiopian government confirmed that three of its soldiers have been convicted and sentenced for rape and one for killing a civilian in connection with the conflict in the Tigray region.
The statement outlines the steps taken and progress made by the Ethiopian investigative agencies concerning the now six-month crisis in the northern region of the country. The reported human rights violations in the region have attracted the indignation of various international leaders and stakeholders who have condemned the actions of the forces and called for thorough investigations into the abuses. The US Senate, for instance, passed a resolution last week calling for “accountability for human rights abuses and atrocities” in Tigray.
The statement released by the Ethiopian government acknowledges other parallel ongoing investigations including the joint investigation by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. It thus provides the investigative steps of the government, which have so far been conducted by military prosecutors and the federal police and investigators.
The statement notes that the military police and prosecutors have so far pressed charges against 28 soldiers who are accused of killing civilians in the absence of a genuine military necessity. Further, an additional 25 soldiers are facing charges of sexual atrocities including rape. Over and beyond this, it is this federal unit that is also responsible for handing down the four convictions and sentences.
Beyond the investigations and convictions, the statement has also acknowledged the killing of individuals and the destruction of property in places such as the town of Maikadra and the city of Axum. The statement goes on to state that further investigations are still ongoing and more updates should be expected in the near future.