On Friday, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) announced its decision to form a team of three international experts to probe claimed human rights abuses in the ongoing armed conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
During a special session set to address the “Grave Human Rights Situation in Ethiopia,” Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif stated the conflict in the Tigray region has expanded to other areas and forced at least two million people from their homes.
The address was made in a special session of the UNHRC called by the EU.
Al-Nashif expressed that, “The conflict in the Tigray region has, in recent months, extended to other areas of the country. It now involves an even wider range of actors, with serious impact on civilians.”
The UN human rights deputy added: “Acute food insecurity is now affecting more than 9.4 million people in northern Ethiopia, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Within Tigray, 5.2 million people – roughly 90 percent of the population – are in need.”
The request for the special session was supported by Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, the Marshall Islands, South Korea, Ukraine, and the UK.
The special session was also supported by 36 observer states, including Australia, Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the US, but it did not have the backing of the African Group.