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Tigray: Genocide

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL725, tabled on 7 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Ethiopia about (1) the alleged genocide in Tigray, and (2) reports that priests and nuns in that region have been attacked and killed.

Answered on

21 June 2021

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 an increasing number of horrifying reports of atrocities coming out of Tigray. Civilians must be protected and the violence must stop. We have also stressed the need for Ethiopia to safeguard its incredible diversity of faith and identity in order to uphold freedom of religion and belief.

The UK's longstanding position is that determining whether a situation amounts to genocide is an issue for competent national and international courts, not governments: our focus is on seeing an end to violence and protecting civilians. 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.