In the Context of Breaking Tigray's Truce, Maat Makes Urgent Statements to International Human Rights Mechanisms
Okeil: The Ethiopian government must comply with its obligations under international humanitarian law in Tigray
In the context of Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights’ follow-up to the humanitarian situation in northern Ethiopia’s troubled region of Tigray, it presented many urgent statements and appeals to international human rights mechanisms, with the aim to review the latest and most prominent humanitarian developments after breaking Tigray's truce in March 2022, which may affect the rights of People in the entire region of East Africa, not just Ethiopia.
After a five-month relative calm in Tigray due to the declared humanitarian truce, military clashes renewed in the southern borders of Tigray and air raids intensified in late August. As a result of military escalation in the entire region, it is estimated that about 99% of the population needs urgent humanitarian assistance.
In its capacity as an association with a special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council, Maat submitted a human rights report to the International Committee of Human Rights Experts in Ethiopia of the Human Rights Council in which it monitors the latest developments in the region in light of the continued aerial bombardment of civilian cities and its human rights repercussions on them. Maat made four urgent appeals to special procedures concerned with the ongoing humanitarian crisis, Special Rapporteur on food, Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation, and guarantees of non-repetition, and Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism.
In light of the ongoing military escalation in the Tigray region, Ayman Okeil, the international human rights expert and President of Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights, denounced the Ethiopian government’s reckless practices in Tigray, especially the aerial bombardment of civilian areas, obstruction of the delivery of necessary humanitarian aid, and the continuation of massacres and military operations around the clock in Tigray.
Okeil recommended all relevant international mechanisms to urgently intervene to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia and to expedite the imposition of a "no-fly zone" over the Tigray region, to ban air strikes against civilians. Okeil called on the International Committee of Experts on Ethiopia to provide technical assistance to the independent national human rights institution to strengthen the investigation of violations of the rights of the Tigray people in the region. He also stressed the need to open urgent investigations and impose harsh penalties on the Ethiopian state due to the ongoing humanitarian atrocities committed against its people, in addition to establishing a complaints system to ensure that remedies are provided to victims.
Okeil called on the Ethiopian government to comply with its obligations under international humanitarian law and to apply the utmost caution by all law enforcement units when conducting military operations to avoid direct or indirect targeting of civilians. He also stressed the need to reopen the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian workers and supplies to Tigray under international humanitarian law.