mtmaru1_EDUARDO SOTERASAFP via Getty Images_tigray refugee camp Eduardo Soteras/AFP via Getty Images

The UN Must Intervene in Tigray

When a state fails to prevent or alleviate atrocities within its territory, or if the state itself is the primary perpetrator of such acts, the UN must not stand idly by. There are five reasons why immediate action by the Security Council regarding Ethiopia's northern region is necessary.

FLORENCE – In a recent interview, Rwandan President Paul Kagame argued that US President Joe Biden’s new administration and the United Nations Security Council should take the lead in addressing the violence and deprivation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. Kagame described the situation there as worrying, and said the death toll was too high for the conflict to be left only to Ethiopia or the African Union to manage. As the president of a country that is still dealing with the consequences of the 1994 genocide against its Tutsi population, Kagame speaks with considerable authority here, and deserves to be heard.

There are five reasons why immediate action by the Security Council regarding Tigray is necessary.

First, the likely presence of Eritrean armed forces in Tigray makes the war both a civil and international conflict, and hence within the UN’s remit. Eritrean troops have been implicated in killings and in the forcible return of Eritrean refugees, including through the burning of the Shimelba and Hitsats refugee camps. Some 15,000-20,000 Eritrean refugees are missing, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

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