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US, UK, Canada Concerned by Tigrayans Arrested Without Charge in Ethiopia

© REUTERS / LEAH MILLISPeople march in protest of the civilian casualties and abuses caused as a result of a yearlong war in Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray, near the National Mall and U.S. Capitol building in Washington, U.S., November 4, 2021
People march in protest of the civilian casualties and abuses caused as a result of a yearlong war in Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray, near the National Mall and U.S. Capitol building in Washington, U.S., November 4, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.12.2021
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WASHINGTON, (Sputnik) - Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States issued a joint statement on Monday expressing concerns over the Ethiopian government arresting Tigrayans based on their ethnicity and without charge.
"We, Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, are profoundly concerned by recent reports of the Ethiopian government’s detention of large numbers of Ethiopian citizens on the basis of their ethnicity and without charge", the statement said. "The Ethiopian government’s announcement of a state of emergency on November 2 is no justification for the mass detention of individuals from certain ethnic groups."
The statement referred to reports by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Amnesty International about mass arrests of ethnic Tigrayans.

"Individuals are being arrested and detained without charges or a court hearing and are reportedly being held in inhumane conditions," the statement read. "Many of these acts likely constitute violations of international law and must cease immediately."

The countries called on the government to provide unhindered and timely access by international monitors, and stressed that all sides must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law.
"It is clear that there is no military solution to this conflict, and we denounce any and all violence against civilians, past, present and future. All armed actors should cease fighting and the Eritrean Defense Forces should withdraw from Ethiopia," the statement said.

"We reiterate our call for all parties to seize the opportunity to negotiate a sustainable ceasefire without preconditions. Fundamentally, Ethiopians must build an inclusive political process and national consensus through political and legal means, and all those responsible for violations and abuses of human rights must be held accountable", the statement read.

The Ethiopian government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) have been locked in conflict over control of the north of the country since November 2020, when the central authorities accused the Tigray rebels of attacking a military base. The Ethiopian government launched an operation in Tigray with the support of neighboring Eritrea.
In the spring of 2021, Ethiopian authorities announced the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray. In November, Ethiopia declared a six-month state of emergency as the TPLF forces together with eight other factions, some of which are considered terrorist by Addis Ababa, advanced toward the Ethiopian capital.
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