UK-Based Religious Entity Lauds UN Directives to End Human Rights Abuses in Ethiopia

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Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a UK-based human rights organization, has welcomed the adoption of a number of resolutions by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) aimed at ending human rights abuses that have been widely reported in Ethiopia.

UNHRC made reference to reports of serious human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by Eritrean forces in the embattled Tigray region of Ethiopia and called for a “swift and verifiable” withdrawal of the forces from the Ethiopian territory.

Commenting on the directive as well as another resolution passed concerning Eritrea, CSW’s Head of Advocacy, Khataza Gondwe, says in a Tuesday, July 13 report, “CSW welcomes the adoption of these two essential resolutions.”

The leadership of the organization, which specializes in religious freedom all over the world expresses optimism that both Ethiopia and Eritrea will work together to ensure that the UNHCR directives are implemented. 

“(We) urge the governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia to cooperate fully with UN Mandate Holders and with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights,” Mr. Gondwe says, and adds, “We also call for both governments to ensure that the fundamental rights and freedoms of all of their citizens are fully respected, for the verified withdrawal of Eritrean and other forces from Tigray, and for unhindered humanitarian access to the region.”


Concerning Ethiopia, the UNHCR expressed “grave concern” following reports of serious human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law and international refugee law allegedly committed by all parties in the Tigray region since the start of the conflict on 4 November 2020.

The council underscored the need to hold accountable all those responsible for human rights violations and abuses.

Further, it requested the High Commissioner to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its forty-eighth session during an enhanced interactive dialogue.

Various atrocities have been reported in Tigray amid what has been reported as a growing humanitarian crisis owing to the ongoing violence in the region.

Last November, fighting broke out in Tigray after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent federal troops, with the support of troops from Eritrea, to fight the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which he accused of holding illegitimate elections.

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The Pontifical charity organization, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, has reported the gross violation of human rights in Ethiopia’s Tigray region where military have been accused of raping women including Catholic Nuns.

A source, anonymous for security reasons, described the current situation in Tigray where the killings target younger people as “a genocide.”

“This is clearly genocide against the people of Tigray. This is not just fighting; they are killing everybody. That is a sign of genocide. Many people are escaping from Tigray to Sudan and some of them, especially the young, are escaping because they are being targeted,” the source told ACN.

The source went on to describe the spate of sexual abuse, which Tigrayan women, including Catholic Nuns, have been subjected to at the hands of troops from neighboring Eritrea.

“(Our relatives), our Sisters have been raped. Some of them we had to take to hospital, even Nuns have been raped. The women and the girls are receiving a different kind of abuse, like you’ve never heard before, things that are very bad. Some of the places that can help support us are closed by the soldiers,” the source bemoaned.


The resolution about Eritrea is partly about the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights.

Concerning the situation in Eritrea, the leadership of CSW says, “The people of Eritrea continue to suffer the most appalling human rights violations at the hands of their government, which are now being committed extraterritorially with the seeming acquiescence of the Ethiopian authorities.”

They add, in reference to the UNHCR resolutions about Ethiopia and Eritrea, “We call on the HRC to keep both of these situations on its agenda until there are definitive improvements.”

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.