To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of reports of (a) attacks and killing of Christians in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, including at the Church of Mariam of Zion in Aksum, and (b) desecration of religious sites.
24 February 2021
We are deeply concerned at the mounting evidence of human rights abuses and violations, including allegations of massacres of civilians, attacks on places of worship as well as damage to cultural monuments and artefacts. An ongoing lack of access to the Tigray region and conflicting reporting means that it remains difficult to confirm these reports, but we will continue to work with partners to seek further information. All parties to the conflict must respect human rights and avoid civilian loss of life at all costs. We have raised our concerns with Ethiopian Ministers, making clear the overriding need to protect civilians and adhere to international law and international human rights law. We continue to call for independent, international, investigations into allegations of human right abuses and violations, and unfettered access to Tigray - points the Foreign Secretary discussed with Prime Minister Abiy in Addis Ababa on 22 January. We also continue to call for the perpetrators of those incidents to be held to account, whoever they may be.