Genocide Watch calls on UN to initiate action against Meles
31, 2009 [Washington DC] Genocide Watch, the international campaign to end
genocide, has called on United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Justice Navanathem, to initiate an investigation against the government of Prime
Minister Meles Zenawi. Genocide Watch cited the atrocities committed in Gambela
against the Anuaks and ethnic Somalis in the Ogaden as examples of the crimes
that have not been seriously investigated by the UN body.
In an open
letter Genocide Watch President Dr Gregory Stanton wrote to the Commissioner, he
commended the International Criminal Court for indicting the Sudanese President,
Omar Hassan Al Bashir, but noted that “one of the first leaders to defend Omar
al-Bashir and condemn the warrant was Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia,
whose government has also been implicated in a pattern of widespread
perpetration of serious human rights atrocities in Ethiopia and in Somalia.”
“He and those
within his government may be keenly aware of their own vulnerability to similar
actions by the ICC in the future that could upend a deeply entrenched system of
government-supported impunity that has protected perpetrators from any
accountability,” Dr Stanton noted.
The Genocide Watch President asserted that a UN investigation was justified due
to the culture of impunity that existed within Ethiopia and underlined that
"extensive documentation is available to examine the violations, most of which
has been compiled in independent investigative reports completed by
international human rights organizations."
"We also believe that the Ethiopian people have been waiting long enough for
genuine justice and relief from the harsh oppression and brutal tactics
committed by a government that purports to be a partner in the War on Terror,
while terrorizing their own people," the letter noted.
Dr Stanton said that Genocide Watch and Survivors International confirmed that
the atrocities committed in Gamballa against the Anuaks in 2005 “fit the
definitions of genocide and crimes against humanity. Human Rights Watch also
conducted two investigations of their own and determined that the crimes against
the Anuak meet the stringent definition of crimes against humanity.” He also
indicated that Genocide Watch was willing in providing assistance to the
Commission in carrying out the investigation.
“We in Genocide Watch, and other human rights organizations are determined to
pursue justice, even long after violations have occurred, as part of our
mission. Investigative reports, contacts and other information can be provided
should you need them,” he said.