Government says Eritrea must withdraw their troops from Tigray and that “their withdrawal must be swift, unconditional and verifiable” and says the recent killing of Orthodox priests “is one of a deluge of horrifying reports of atrocities coming out of Tigray. “

May 24, 2021 | Uncategorized

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL129):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) reports of soldiers systematically killing men in Ethiopia, as reported in The Times on 8 May, and (2) whether such soldiers are operating on behalf of the Eritrean military. (HL129)

Tabled on: 12 May 2021

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

We are deeply concerned at human rights abuses and violations in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, including of Eritrea’s significant role in them. We condemn violations as consistent with an apparent policy of collective punishment of Tigrayans. There are numerous shocking reports of atrocities committed by Eritrean forces in Tigray, and their continued presence is fueling insecurity. These forces must leave Ethiopia immediately. The Minister for Africa made this clear to the Eritrean Ambassador on 16 March, and we set this out in our joint statement with the G7 on 2 April and a G7 Communiqué on 5 May. Our Ambassador in Addis Ababa met with the Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian National Defence Force in the week of 26 April and pressed this point.

We are closely monitoring the situation and are clear that their withdrawal must be swift, unconditional and verifiable. However, despite Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy’s commitment that Eritrean troops would withdraw from Tigray we are yet to see any evidence that this is happening. We continue to press hard for this commitment to be delivered.

Date and time of answer: 24 May 2021 at 12:27.

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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL2):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports of targeted killings of Ethiopian Orthodox priests in Tigray; and what action they are taking as a result. (HL2)

Tabled on: 11 May 2021

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

As the Minister of State responsible for human rights issues for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, I tweeted on 11 May to express my deep sadness at the reported murder of priests in Tigray. This is one of a deluge of horrifying reports of atrocities coming out of Tigray. Civilians must be protected and the violence must stop.

The G7, under the UK Presidency, issued a statement on 2 April and a Communiqué on 5 May condemning human rights violations and abuses. The UK also condemned in the strongest terms the reported killings of civilians via a joint statement on Ethiopia with 41 other countries at the 46th Session of the Human Rights Council. We support the UN’s call for a “zero tolerance” policy and welcome the UN Security Council’s 22 April Press Statement expressing their deep concern about allegations of human rights violations and abuses in the Tigray region. The UK will support the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure that their joint investigations with the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission into atrocities in Tigray are independent, transparent and impartial and that those responsible for these human rights abuses are held to account. The Foreign Secretary, Minister for Africa and our Ambassador in Addis continue to raise human rights issues in their discussions with the Ethiopian government.

Date and time of answer: 24 May 2021 at 12:03.



Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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