Delivered by Adem Osman, Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Eritrea in Geneva.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Eritrea would like to reiterate its principled position that States shoulder the primary responsibility to safeguard human rights and to addressing challenges if any.
The dire security and human rights challenges that we witness today in Ethiopia are the consequence of the unprovoked and premeditated war unleashed by the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front on the Northern Command of the Federal Forces of Ethiopia in the first week of November 2020 as well as the subsequent offensives that it launched in the Amhara and Afar Regions in the period thereafter. These reckless and deplorable military attacks with the rampant use of child soldiers were characterized by wanton pillage, destruction of property, and egregious atrocities. Unfortunately, the present report largely ignores the heinous crimes committed by TPLF in what has become a familiar pattern to whitewash its crimes while shifting the blame to its primary victims to advance ulterior political agendas.
The report is indeed at variance with the facts on the ground and the alleged human rights conclusions are unsubstantiated or misplaced, at best.
The accusations that the Eritreans National Defense Force have committed grave crimes and that Eritrea has exacerbated the situation are simply untenable and peddled for the political purposes mentioned above. It is also incompatible with the historical track-record of established norms and discipline that characterized the conduct of its combatants and army in the imposed wars that it had to grapple with in previous decades.
Finally, we strongly reject the recommendations and in particular; the malicious trend to link and refer the UNHRC session to the UN Security Council.
I thank you.