STP warns of horror scenario in Tigray (Press Release)

The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) warns of an escalation of the crimes in the province of Tigray in the north of Ethiopia. "It is irresponsible of the Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy to urge the civilian population of the country to join the fight against the rebel movement TPLF in Tigray. His call is to be seen an incitement to murder and manslaughter. This could even lead to a genocide," stated Nadja Grossenbacher, STP expert on genocide prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, in Göttingen on Tuesday. "The most serious crimes have already been committed against the population of Tigray, and thousands of people were forced to flee from the atrocities. Abiy's call is bound to lead to a horror scenario." On Thursday, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize had called on the civilian population to help fight the TPLF.

According to Grossenbacher, Abiy's official statement that the government was doing everything in its power to keep the civilian population from harm is not credible. According to reports, both the Eritrean as well as the Ethiopian army have already committed serious human rights crimes in Tigray – and the allegations against the Eritrean army, which is an ally of the Ethiopian forces, are increasing. Apparently, there have been many extrajudicial killings, and rape is being used as a weapon of war. Also, aid organizations are no longer able to access the region of Tigray.  

The troops of the central government have been fighting against rebel groups in Tigray since November. The main enemy is the Tigray People's Liberation Front TPLF – which lost its dominant position due to the change of government in Ethiopia and is now fighting for autonomy in the region. The population group of the Tigrayers accounts for about six percent of the population of Ethiopia.