The UN Human Rights Council decided Monday to hold a special session on conflict-torn Ethiopia this week and will consider whether to appoint international investigators to probe widespread violations in the country.
The decision, which was slammed by the Ethiopian government, followed an official request by the European Union for the UN’s top rights body to address the deteriorating situation in the Horn of Africa nation, ravaged by over a year of conflict.
“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,” Lotte Knudsen, the EU ambassador in Geneva said in a statement.
The request came 13 months into a spiraling conflict between Ethiopian government forces and Tigrayan rebels that has left thousands dead and millions short of food.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borell voiced frustration in Brussels that the bloc had not managed to agree on sanctions that he said could have helped avert some of the violations.
The situation in Ethiopia is “one of my biggest frustrations because we were not able to react properly to the large scale human rights violations, mass rapes using sexual violence as a war arm, killings, and concentration camps,” he told a meeting of the 27 EU foreign ministers.