European Union requests Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council to assess the grave human rights situation in Ethiopia


The European Union has submitted today a letter to the President of the Human Rights Council, requesting the holding of a Special Session of the Council on the grave human rights situation in Ethiopia. The session is scheduled to take place on 17 December 2021.


One year into the conflict, reports of serious human rights violations and abuses continue to surface. Early November the OHCHR and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission published a joint report, laying bare the terrible toll on civilians of the conflict in Tigray, and concluding that there are reasonable grounds to believe all parties to the Tigray conflict have committed violations and abuses of international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law. Some of these violations may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, made a strong plea for all parties to end the violence and prioritise the protection of civilians and full respect for their human rights. She underscored the need to hold perpetrators accountable on all sides and has stated on several occasions that the increasingly alarming human rights situation in Ethiopia merits further urgent discussions by the Human Rights Council,” says Ambassador Lotte Knudsen, Head of the EU Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva.

The European Union is strongly committed to the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of Ethiopia, and also firmly supports the ongoing mediation efforts by the African Union High Representative. “In light of the aggravating situation, we believe the international community has a moral obligation to try to prevent further atrocities and ensure accountability and justice for victims and survivors. The Human Rights Council has to stand up to its responsibilities, “Ambassador Knudsen adds.