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António Guterres and Michelle Bachelet’s message to Tigrayans: you, the victims, don’t matter

They wonder, if the investigations of crimes are not meant to address the concerns and cries of the affected community, what are they meant for?



It is now five months since the start of the war on Tigray which, from the start, has had all the hallmarks of genocide. Even so, however, and despite the involvement of foreign countries, and undeniable evidence of ethnic cleansing, more than 88 massacres, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and mass starvation, António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, is yet to issue any serious statement.

This is not to mention the Secretary-General’s close relationships with the architects of the Tigray genocide.

Although late, Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has shown interest to investigate human rights violations in Tigray. To the dismay of Tigrayans, however, the investigation is to be done jointly with the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), a federal entity funded and accountable to the very government that is one the parties implicated in all of the atrocities committed in Tigray. This decision was made in spite of calls for an independent investigation from Tigrayans and others, and warnings about the danger of involving EHRC in the investigation.

Tigray’s elected government, opposition parties, civil societies, religious communities and writers, and social media activists have been calling for independent investigations not involving any Ethiopian entities.

When there was talk of the AU getting involved in investigations of human rights violations in Tigray, different sections of Tigrayan society opposed that, citing the AU’s previous positions on the war on Tigray. Political parties, writers, and social media activists all wrote opposing that.

Disappointingly and sadly, the UNHCR announced that it has agreed to a joint investigation with EHRC, ignoring all the concerns, calls, and warnings and dashing Tigrayan hopes for independent investigation and justice. Amid their sadness and dismay, following the announcement, Tigrayans wrote letters to the High Commissioner for Human Rights warning her of the dangers of involving EHRC in the investigations of crimes in Tigray. Political parties, civil societies [1, 2] writers [1, 2], and social media activists opposed the move in unison.

Despite all of that, and in a manner that seems to say ‘you, the Tigrayan victims, don’t matter’, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights went ahead with her decision to involve EHRC. Tigrayans feel doubly hurt is an understatement. They feel, and rightly so, the crimes will be whitewashed, distorted, covered, and maybe even be attributed to the victims. They wonder, if the investigations of crimes are not meant to address the concerns and cries of the affected community, what are they meant for?

Gebrekirstos Gebremeskel is a researcher, runs (NLP resources & tools), and manages Tghat. He is interested in science, history of ideas and the politics of the Horn.

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  1. Mezgebe

    March 31, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    The world need to feel the pain executing on the nearly 0.1% world’s population which is going to be wiped by the war torn in Tigray and Tigrians living in other parts of Ethiopia.

  2. Zerisenay

    March 30, 2021 at 9:01 am

    #TigrayGenocide can not be redressed by showing concern, it demands utterly action
    & #IssaiasAfewerqi are not loyal to any words, order and law.












  3. Baki

    March 30, 2021 at 5:38 am

    White people will not save you TPLF.

    People like Gebrekristos Gebremeskel are the definition of Banda Tegaru— during hey times of TPLF got their European citizenship and education. Now when ferenji stopped underwriting TPLF domination are suddenly— “White people save us”.

    Anti Banda- they ain’t gonna save yo ass

    • eritrea will be inexistent as 2022

      March 30, 2021 at 9:49 am

      Baki, son of those ancient Askaris and sponsor and supporter of modern day Askaris who are sold for 500 Mln dollars to Abiy. You are salves both at home and overseas. anyone to argue and disprove this fact? ??

      ዛር ዉላጅ መተታም አባይ ጠንቋይ የማይታዩት የናንተ ሠራዊቶች የሰዉ ደም የሚልሱ የሚጠጡ ዛር ዉላጆች ናቸዉ እነርሱን ነዉ የምታመልኩት አረቄ ድፋላቸዉ ስማቸዉን ጥራ ወይም አስጠራ በአራት ማዕዘን ተከበሻል ኢትዮጵያ ፈራርሳለች ላትነሳም ተቀብራለች፥ሙት አመቷን አዉጡላት ጋኔን ሰቢዎችን ጠይቁላት ቀበርቾዉን አቃጥሉላት ዳቦ ለሚሹ ሕፃናትን ቦምብ የሚያቀብል ርኩስ ፍጥረት የሚገኝባት ኢትዮጵይ የማይታዩ ረቂቃን አጋንንት ዛር ዉላጆት ከአለቃቸዉ ሳጥናኤል ጋር የተወረወሩ ርኩሳን መፍስት የሚኖሩባት ኢትዮጵይ ን የእግዚአብሔር መላዕክታት አይጎበኙዋትም አይታሰብም፤ ካፈርኩ አይመልሰኝ አያዋጣቹህም
      “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Luke 11:11 You serving bombs for kids instead of milk and bread. You will harvest what you sow mister . This is a natural law!

      ignorant amhara elites are dead too.Eritrea will be inexistent asap

  4. Binyam T

    March 30, 2021 at 5:32 am

    UNHRC’s decision to involve EHRC in the investigation of ethnic cleansing, massacre, rape and atrocities by Ethiopian and Eritrean gov’t forces in Tigray is an embaracment to international law of war crimes and crimes against humanity. This is an effort to hide the henious crimes committed against the people of Tigray by the invading Ethiopian and Eritrean forces. Any result that comes out of such biased, unlawful and immoral investigation would only result on another round of reveng by the victims. Tigray and Tigrayans will be forced to take the law by their hands.

  5. Yishak

    March 29, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    Mr antonyo guterres may be blaming Tigrayans for the cause of Myanmar coup, COVID19 , even for Global Warming who knows ? What can I say !!! He tweets only on this issues all day , I am so sad .

  6. Weldegebriel

    March 29, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    ፅቡቅ ሓወና።

  7. Teklay

    March 29, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    A timely & excellent opinion
    Not only are the UN secretary general and UNHRC chief failed,the members of the security council have also failed to live up their promises. But we still need to knock every door we thought has potential to end the conflict & atrocities.

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