Eritrea's involvement in Tigray War

Investigate alleged war crimes! (Press Release)

The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) has accused Eritrean soldiers of committing war crimes in the Tigray War in Ethiopia, demanding an immediate international investigation into Eritrea's involvement in the war. The human rights organization further demanded the Eritrean military to withdraw from Tigray immediately, stating that the Eritrean forces are responsible for most of the serious human rights crimes in the embattled region. According to the STP, it would be necessary to address Eritrea's role in the Tigray War in a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

"Anyone who commits systematic attacks and lootings of churches, monasteries, and world heritage sites – anyone who commits massacres of civilians, even in churches, or who uses rape as a weapon, is guilty of war crimes. Further, it is a war crime to hunt down, abduct, and kill Eritrean opposition members – who are officially protected in Ethiopia – and it is a war crime to use the occupation of Tigray to dismantle modern industrial facilities in order to bring them to Eritrea. Eritrea's military has taken advantage of the pandemic and the US presidential elections to ravage northern Ethiopia, unnoticed by the global public. It is time to hold accountable those who are responsible for this scorched earth policy," stated Ulrich Delius, the STP's Director, in Göttingen on Friday.

However, the human rights organization also criticized the conduct of the German government. "Germany has been looking the other way for much too long, simply accepting Ethiopia's statements that Eritrea is not involved in the military operation. Germany's development partnership with Ethiopia must not become a carte blanche for war crimes," Delius added. 

Meanwhile, the new US administration demanded the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean military forces from Ethiopia. Former US President Donald Trump had praised Eritrea for its alleged "restraint" in the conflict, but the EU has now expressing concerns about serious human rights violations there as well. "Europe's embassies in the region have known about Eritrea's involvement in the war for at least two months – and have done nothing. By remaining silent, they are fueling the famine in Tigray, which is massively exacerbated by the war crimes," Delius emphasized. Not only are many of the 100,000 Eritrean refugees in Tigray on the run from the murdering Eritrean soldiers, but there are also about 2.2 million people on the run from violence and hunger within Tigray. Due to the ongoing armed conflict and due to restrictions by the authorities, it is hardly possible to provide the 4.5 million needy people in the region with humanitarian supplies.