MASS ATROCITIES AND POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN ETHIOPIA [FORUM]

Rachel Ibrecka and Alex de Waalb

Genocide scholars have largely neglected Ethiopian histories of atrocious violence, with rare exceptions. This looks set to change given the violent conflict and spiraling human rights violations over the past year, under the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. In July 2020, the Ethiopian government cracked down on protests in Oromia region with extrajudicial killings and mass arrests. Soon afterwards, amid rising political instability, regional militias targeted local minorities in what was described as “ethnic-cleansing.”

Then, in early November 2020, Tigray erupted into armed conflict, following a dispute between the regional government, led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the federal government, and leading to intense warfare and violence against civilians in the region and beyond. Over the months since, various armed forces – principally the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) and the Eritrean Defence Forces (EDF) – have perpetrated massacres, sexual violence and forced starvation likely to amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, or possibly crimes constitutive of genocide.

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Source: Tylor & Francis Online

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