Ethiopia risks heading to genocide: UN adviser


Geneva, Nov 27 : Calls to arms and violent hate speech by irresponsible leaders are heading Ethiopia to the risk of genocide, the UN special adviser on the prevention of genocide, Alice Wairimu Nderitu said. On Friday, she expressed grave concern about the deterioration of the situation in Ethiopia, Xinhua news agency reported. Speech by irresponsible leaders, the militarisation of society, ethnic profiling, denial of humanitarian access and blockade of food to areas under fighting inhabited by specific ethnic communities and misuse of medical supplies continue, she said. Nderitu said those leaders "are spiraling the country down to a path where the risk of commission of atrocity crimes, including genocide, is real and must be addressed as a matter of utmost urgency." The special adviser called upon regional and international actors "to intensify their engagement to prevent falling into this abyss." She also reminded parties in the conflict that they are accountable to the citizens of their country, their region and the world under international human rights and humanitarian laws. While nothing can restore the lives of those lost, Nderitu said, it is not too late to prevent further suffering and end the hostilities through meaningful and constructive dialogue. "Regional and international actors have provided leaders in Ethiopia with tools and mechanisms to conduct such dialogue," she said. "It is more imperative than ever that they demonstrate their true leadership by immediately committing to taking this path, in words and in actions." /IANS


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