UN priority of preserving Ethiopian state over human rights makes it useless to find peace

The United Nations places preservation of the current Ethiopian regime over human rights and right to self determination of the Tigray and other ethnicities in Ethiopia

The United Nations is turning a blind eye to the suffering of the Tigray people by stating the preservation of the Ethiopian state is their first priority. Imagine if the Nazi Germany government sat as the judges of human rights violations against the 6 million Jews who suffered genocide! This is exactly the situation we are seeing now with the “joint” cooperation between the Ethiopian government who with its partner Eritrea has committed intentional starvation, rape, murder, displacement, withholding of health care, financial services, and communication very openly and publicly against the Tigray and other minority ethnicities in Ethiopia.

This week we have witnessed how useless the United Nations as well as the African Union is when a member nation’s government becomes inhumane and unjust. Although the United Nations Charter says the “inherent dignity” and the “equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family should be protected and” upholding these human rights principles as “the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world” is fundamental to every undertaking of the United Nations. The reality is the real priority is about preserving the current leadership of a corrupt or inhumane country.

Michelle Bachelete, UN Human Rights Chief stated “preliminary findings” as dictated by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission were

  1. Government forces and their allies continue to be implicated in allegations of human rights violations.
  2. Reports also suggest that people of Tigrayan ethnicity have been detained by law enforcement officials on ethnic grounds, mostly in Addis Ababa 
  3. Incitement to hatred and discrimination were also documented targeting people of Tigrayan ethnicity, as well as attacks on journalists and the suspension of media outlets’ licenses and shutdowns of Internet and telecommunications in Tigray.

Ms. Bachelet added that Tigrayan forces have also allegedly been responsible for attacks on civilians, including indiscriminate killings resulting in nearly 76,500 people displaced in Afar and an estimated 200,000 in Amhara.

More than 200 individuals have reportedly been killed in the most recent clashes in these regions, and 88 individuals, including children, have been injured, she said.

There have also been reports of the recruitment of children into the conflict by Tigrayan forces, which is prohibited under international law.

However her answer to the situation was however that the priority of the United Nations was the preservation of the Ethiopian state and by extension of the current government of Abiy Ahmed. Even though the United Nations has previously stated that the Abiy Ahmed regime and partner Eritrea is carrying out a “de fact0” blockade against Tigray that is forbidden under the UN Charter she called for an immediate ceasefire without concern for its consequences.

No discussion was made about concentration camps or mass killings in Western Tigray or Aksum. No investigation at all about Eritrea who seems to be given a pass by the UN and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.

As I have previously written the history of the United Nations in dealing with genocide is poor. To put it bluntly it is always too little and too late as was seen in Yugoslavia, Burma, Rwanda, Darfur, and others. The Tigray have no choice but to continue to fight for their survival.

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

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