Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of International Development on release of investigation report on atrocities in the Tigray region in Ethiopia


November 5, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, today issued the following statement:

“Canada is deeply concerned by the findings outlined in the joint report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on their investigation into human rights violations resulting from the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia. We commend the transparent and impartial work that the OHCHR and EHRC carried out under challenging circumstances.

“This report was published on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the beginning of this conflict and a day after the Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency (SoE). Canada is gravely concerned by the expansion of combat operations to Amhara and Afar regions of Ethiopia by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The Government of Ethiopia’s announcement of an SoE confers significant authority to the government, and includes clauses that have the potential to escalate the conflict. These developments are extremely concerning, and Canada calls on all parties to exercise restraint and uphold human rights.

“The scale and consistency of the targeted violence being perpetrated against civilians by all parties to the conflict in northern Ethiopia is appalling, deeply disturbing and completely unacceptable. The findings of this report highlight significant and serious abuses and violations of human rights, as well as humanitarian and refugee law, and finds all parties to the conflict to be implicated. It also indicates that some of these violations may amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes.

“Canada acknowledges the OHCHR-EHRC findings and calls on all parties to the conflict to take immediate action to implement the recommendations set out in the report. This report calls upon the Government of Ethiopia and the TPLF, and all other parties to the conflict, to uphold their obligations under international law to ensure the protection, safety and security of civilians and allow for rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access.  

“Canada will work together with partners and allies to support efforts toward justice and accountability for those affected by the conflict, and to support ongoing efforts to resolve this grave human rights and humanitarian crisis.

“We reiterate our call for an immediate cessation of hostilities. Efforts toward a mediated political solution and an inclusive national dialogue are urgently needed.”


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