Title Ethiopia and Eritrea: Human rights issues in a year of armed conflict
Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 21 May 1999
Country Eritrea | Ethiopia
Topics Denial of nationality | Deportation / Forcible return | Expulsion | Extrajudicial executions | Freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment | Human rights and fundamental freedoms | Internally displaced persons (IDPs) | International armed conflict | International humanitarian law (IHL) / Geneva Conventions | Persecution based on nationality | Political situation | Protection of civilian persons in time of war | Refugees
Citation / Document Symbol AFR 04/003/1999
Cite as Amnesty International, Ethiopia and Eritrea: Human rights issues in a year of armed conflict, 21 May 1999, AFR 04/003/1999, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a9e36.html [accessed 25 October 2014]
Comments This is a report of the findings, updated to the present time, of investigatory visits by Amnesty International to Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1998 and 1999. Amnesty International was concerned about human rights issues in the armed conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea which broke out in May 1998. It published a preliminary statement in January 1999, 'Amnesty International witnesses cruelty of mass deportations' (AI Index: AFR 25/02/9). The war between the two countries, formerly close allies, is still continuing, despite mediation efforts by the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the United Nations (UN) and others. The human rights issues examined by Amnesty International representatives visiting Ethiopia in October 1998 and Eritrea in January 1999 are still of urgent concern. These relate to violations by both sides of international human rights treaties and the Geneva Conventions. The report particularly examines allegations of human rights violations against Eritreans in Ethiopia and Ethiopians in Eritrea. There have been mass expulsions in cruel and inhuman conditions of Eritreans from Ethiopia. The Eritrean security forces ill-treated some Ethiopians but there was no evidence found of a systematic policy in Eritrea of deliberate expulsions or widespread ill-treatment of Ethiopians. The report covers indiscriminate or deliberate bombings of scores of civilians; displacement and ill-treatment of civilians; the denial of access for thousands of prisoners of war to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); widespread internment and arbitrary detentions of civilians (in Ethiopia particularly, but with some cases in Eritrea too), and the mass expulsions of Eritreans from Ethiopia and the arbitrary removal of their Ethiopian citizenship. The mass expulsions of Eritreans from Ethiopia, however, were suspended by Ethiopia in February 1999 when the whole border became a war zone. The report concludes with appeals by Amnesty International to both the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments to respect and protect the human rights of civilians and prisoners of war. The organization also calls on the international community to speak out against all human rights violations committed in the conflict and to ensure that human rights monitoring and protection are made an integral part of any peace plan, as put forward by the OAU and UN.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.