The Ethiopian government has blocked access to the US State Department annual human rights report, making it only accessible through a virtual private network (VPN). Social media platforms, including Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube, have also been blocked without a VPN. The move follows Ethiopia’s recent crackdown on internet freedom, including the detainment of journalists, activists, and opposition members.
Ethiopia is recovering from a two-year conflict in the north, which saw all parties involved committing atrocities. The cessation of hostilities agreement has led to a decrease in human rights abuses in northern Ethiopia, withdrawal of Eritrean forces, and the Ethiopian government’s initial steps towards transitional justice. Members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF), Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces, and Amhara forces have been found to have committed war crimes during the conflict.
The Ethiopian government has accused the US of taking a “partisan” approach by alleging that Ethiopian and Eritrean troops had committed war crimes during the two-year conflict in Tigray. The allegations were labeled as “unsubstantiated and defamatory” by Eritrea’s foreign ministry, who accused the US of pursuing “unwarranted hostility and demonization” against Eritrea since 2009. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called for accountability, citing the State Department’s “careful review of the law and facts.”