To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by the International Council on Monuments and Sites on 5 March that Tigray's heritage is falling victim to fighting and "cultural cleansing".
26 March 2021
We are deeply concerned by reports of violations of international law and international human rights law from Tigray, and have raised our concerns with Ministers in the governments of both Ethiopia and Eritrea, making clear the overriding need to protect civilians and adhere to international law and international human rights law. We are concerned by reports from Tigray of attacks on places of worship as well as damage to cultural monuments and artefacts. Our Embassy in Addis Ababa has been in contact with the UNESCO offices in Addis, and is monitoring matters carefully. We are concerned by the growing weight of credible evidence of atrocities in Tigray, including looting. The Minister for Africa has called for the withdrawal of Eritrean forces. We welcome the announcement, on 26 March, of their withdrawal and call for this to be immediate and unconditional. We have clearly set out the need for independent, international, investigations into allegations of human right abuses and violations. We have also stressed the need for Ethiopia to safeguard its incredible diversity of faith and identity. Respect for cultural heritage is part of this, alongside freedom of expression and freedom of religion and belief.