Tigray conflict: Joint Statement by HR/VP Borrell and Commissioner Lenarčič on massacres in Axum

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission and Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, issued the following Joint Statement:

“Amnesty International issued a report today on atrocities that took place in Axum, Ethiopia, in November 2020. The report concludes that indiscriminate shelling and mass execution may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. This is another harrowing reminder of the violence that civilians in Tigray have been suffering since the onset of the conflict. We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, all crimes against civilians and call for the perpetrators to be swiftly brought to justice. We recall the obligation under International Humanitarian Law for all parties to ensure the protection of all civilians, including refugees and those internally displaced. 

Hostilities must cease immediately and immediate, full and unfettered access to the whole of Tigray for all humanitarian actors and the media allowed. Since the outbreak of the conflict more than 100 days ago, thousands of civilians have lost their lives and reportedly 80% of the population remain cut off from external assistance, facing rising food insecurity and malnutrition. The level of suffering endured by civilians, including children, is appalling. This must cease immediately. Full access is essential to assess the situation on the ground and provide adequate protection and assistance to those who desperately need it.”

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