UN rights chief denounces Christian-Muslim violence in Ethiopia | News

Michelle Bachelet calls on authorities to conduct unbiased investigations into the lethal spiritual violence.

The UN human rights chief has voiced alarm at latest lethal clashes between Muslims and Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia and referred to as on authorities to research and convey perpetrators to justice.

United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet mentioned on Saturday that she was “deeply distressed” by the violence that erupted late final month in northern Ethiopia, reportedly killing no less than 30 individuals and injuring greater than 100 others.

The clashes started in Gondar metropolis within the Amhara area on April 26, reportedly in reference to a land dispute, earlier than shortly spreading to different areas and the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, she mentioned.

The Islamic Affairs Council of Amhara mentioned the funeral of a Muslim elder had been attacked, describing the scene as a “bloodbath” by closely armed “extremist Christians”.

The cemetery the place the assault occurred neighbours a mosque and church and has been the topic of an ongoing dispute between Muslims and Orthodox Christians, who’re the dominant group in Ethiopia.

“I perceive two mosques had been burnt and one other two partially destroyed in Gondar,” Bachelet mentioned in her assertion.

“Within the obvious retaliatory assaults that adopted, two Orthodox Christian males had been reportedly burnt to demise, one other man hacked to demise, and 5 church buildings burnt down” within the southwest of the nation, she mentioned, including that different areas had since seen clashes.

In all, police had reportedly arrested and imprisoned no less than 578 individuals in no less than 4 cities in reference to the clashes, she mentioned.

“I name on the Ethiopian authorities to promptly provoke and conduct thorough, unbiased and clear investigations into every of those lethal incidents,” Bachelet mentioned.

Forestall additional inter-religious violence

Authorities ought to attempt to “be sure that these discovered to be accountable are held to account”, she mentioned, stressing that “particular person accountability of perpetrators is important to forestall additional violence.”

On the similar time, “these arrested should be totally accorded their due course of and truthful trial rights in accordance with worldwide human rights regulation, with out discrimination.”

The UN rights chief additionally referred to as for broader motion to reconcile communities in Ethiopia, the place Muslims make up a few third of the inhabitants.

“To forestall additional inter-religious violence, it’s essential that the underlying causes of this stunning violence are promptly addressed,” she mentioned, urging “significant participation of survivors, households and affected communities”.

Such violence in Ethiopia shouldn’t be a brand new growth. In 2019, authorities arrested 5 individuals suspected of burning down 4 mosques within the city of Motta in the identical area.

Preventing in Ethiopia’s wider battle has eased because the federal authorities declared a unilateral ceasefire final month, saying it could enable humanitarian help to enter Tigray.

When Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took energy in 2018, he launched sweeping political and financial reforms that received him worldwide reward, culminating within the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for peacemaking efforts with longtime enemy Eritrea.

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