Is Eritrea’s war in Tigray genocidal?

This question is posed by Kjetil Tronvol, Professor and Research Director of Peace and Conflict studies at Bjorknes University College, in a series of Tweets.

As Professor Tronvol says – this is the first time he has used the term “genocide” in 30 years of studying the conflicts in the Horn of Africa.


Are we witnessing a #genocidal campaign by #Eritreaโ€™n forces in the #war in #Tigray #Ethiopia? The atrocities committed and the apparent intent may seem to point in that direction. In this thread I will outline the argument supporting such possible claim. #genocide.

First, it is important to distinguish between #Eritrean & #Ethiopian forces, although #ENDF is also allegedly responsible for mass atrocities. But in #genocide the intent of the atrocities is also important to consider, which appears more ambiguous in relation to ENDF.

It has been documented widespread & systematic #massacers of civilians by #EDF throughout Tigray, targeted as #Tegaru. Many witnesses also claim that Eritrean troops have admitted to orders to kill #Tigrayan men & boys, so they shall not later revenge the atrocities.

Systematic and widespread #rape and #SGBV of #Tegaru women and girls by #Eritrean troops. Consciously impregnating enemy women aims to disrupt the reproductive capacity of the group, one characteristic of a #genocidal campaign.

Conscious, systematic, and widespread destruction & looting of civilian infrastructure like hospitals by #Eritrean forces in #Tigray #Ethiopia, apparently to obliterate the capacity of self-administration.

Conscious, systematic, and widespread destroying/torching/looting of crops and harvest, and wells/water supplies by #Eritrean forces, apparently to induce starvation and mass death of #Tigrayans.

Conscious, systematic, and widespread destruction and looting of cultural /religious heritage sites by #Eritrean forces, apparently in order to obliterate the deep-rooted historical cultural identity of the Tigrayans.

Each of the atrocities mentioned above can be characterized as #WarCrimes & likely also #CrimesAgainstHumanity. Seen together, a pattern of intent by #Eritrean forces is emerging which may substantiate the claim of a #genocide of the #Tegaru population of #Tigray in #Ethiopia.

As a professor of #HumanRights, one should be very careful to use the term #genocide, the most serious international crime existing. I have never ever before entertained such a classification in my 30 years of research in #Ethiopia on #conflicts and #wars.

Neither #Eritrea nor #Ethiopia are parties to the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court #ICC. Hence, in order for President Isaias Afwerki of #Eritrea, as Commander in Chief, and his Generals to be held accountable, #UNSC has to refer the case to #ICC.

The responsibility of #Ethiopiaโ€™n government in the atrocities in #Tigray has to be investigated separately. However, the Ethiopian government has invited & accommodated the #Eritrean forces to undertake their war campaign in Tigray, hence they may be responsible by implication.

 

 

 

 

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