Answer to Written Question: What tools does the VP/HR have to stop sexual violence in Tigray?
(Source: European Parliament)
Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell
on behalf of the European Commission
The EU is alarmed by the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Tigray and its regional implications. Six months into the conflict, the EU reiterates its call for an end to violence and hostilities, for protection of civilians and refugees in respect of international humanitarian law, international refugee law and human rights law.
Full, rapid, effective and unhindered humanitarian access to all people in need must be fully ensured in all areas, and humanitarian staff should be protected.
The EU is concerned by the numerous allegations of human rights violations and abuses involving multiple actors in Tigray. The withdrawal of Eritrean troops has not been materialised yet and should start without delay.
Council Conclusions on Ethiopia have been adopted on 11 March 2021 and on a revised Horn of Africa strategy on 10 May 2021. The Commission has also postponed the disbursement of budget support decisions to the government of Ethiopia, until key conditions are met: i) cessation of hostilities, ii) unhindered humanitarian access and iii) an investigation of reported human rights abuses. In parallel, the EU has strengthened its humanitarian support to vulnerable populations in Ethiopia, providing over EUR 63 million in 2020 and over EUR 53 million in 2021.
The EU supports the important work of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and has repeatedly called on the Ethiopian government to endorse its recommendations and fully implement judicial proceedings to ensure accountability. The EU welcomes the joint investigation between the Ethiopian government and the Office of the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights and will continue to monitor the situation closely. Should the situation in Tigray continue to deteriorate, the EU remains ready to consider the use of all foreign policy tools at its disposal.