Commission calls for civilians protection in Ethiopia’s Tigray

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) expressed its grave concern about the fast-developing security situation in northern part of Ethiopia’s Tigray Region.

“EHRC is gravely concerned and closely monitoring the fast-developing security situation in Tigray region and other parts of the country,” the Commission said today in its press statement. EHRC Chief Commissioner Daniel Bekele said, “EHRC urges both federal and regional security forces to ensure the safety and security of civilians and respect human rights at all times.”

The Chief Commissioner added, “As Parliament convenes to discuss approval of the State of Emergency declared in Tigray, it should in particular consider ensuring humanitarian access and support including for food, medicine and other essential civilian services to avoid a complete blockage of communication and transport facilities.“ He also reminded all parties that “Tigray region is host to several thousands of refugees.”

The statement came following the military confrontation between the federal government of Ethiopia and the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), which has been leading the region since 1991. After the current prime Minister of Ethiopia is elected to lead the country by the former ruling coalition – Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) in April 2018, the TPLF, which was the dominant party in the coalition for close to three decades, has refused to accept losing its dominance in Ethiopian politics.

While some of the young and dynamic generations of the TPLF has decided to join Prime Minister Abiy as members of Prosperity Party, which replaced the EPRDF, most of the old guards of TPLF have been acting as opposition party and at times interfering in the mandates of the federal government and vowing to return to power by any means.

Last week the TPLF hardliners hiding in Tigray running from the federal government prosecution for the human rights related and corruption crimes, have refused to accept the appointment of a new army general to the northern military bigrade based in Tigray Region. The growing tension between the two sides has now brought them into a military confrontation on Monday this week.

The TPLF has led the gorilla war against Mengistu Hailemariam’s regime, and took power May in 1991 forming the ruling coalition EPRDF, which involved TPLF, Oromo, Amhara, and Southern political parties. Since then the TPLF, which claims to represent the people living in Tigray Region of Ethiopia, representing around 6 percent of the total population of Ethiopia, has been dominating the four parities coalition.