Wednesday, February 1, 2023

“Major Violations” of International Law in Tigray Refugee Camps | Ethiopia News

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According to the UN, satellite images showed fires and further signs of destruction in the Shimelba and Hitsats refugee camps.

There have been significant violations of international law in two refugee camps in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, the UN refugee agency said.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said satellite images showed fires and further signs of destruction in the Shimelba and Hitsats refugee camps in neighboring Eritrea that people fled due to political persecution and compulsory military service before the conflict in Tigray.

“These are concrete indications of major violations of international law,” Filippo Grandi, UNHCR commissioner, said in a statement Thursday.

Reuters news agency on Tuesday released satellite images from Planet Lab Inc showing destruction at both camps in the first week of January.

Aid agencies say they have been unable to reach the camps since conflict erupted in Tigray in November between Ethiopian federal forces and the TPLF, the party that governed the region.

Eritrean refugee children play in Hitsats refugee camp [File: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]

There has been no comment from Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the government emergency task force for the Tigray crisis.

In December, a UN team was shot dead trying to reach Shimelba camp.

Two diplomatic sources told Reuters that the UN team met uniformed soldiers from neighboring Eritrea.

At the time, Ethiopia and Eritrea denied the presence of Eritrean troops in Tigray. A senior Ethiopian general has since said they entered the region uninvited.

Grandi said there have been reports of additional military incursions in the past 10 days.

“I continue to receive numerous reliable reports and first-hand accounts of the continuing insecurity and allegations of serious and painful human rights violations, including killings, targeted kidnappings and the forced return of refugees to Eritrea,” he said. he declared.


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