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Fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region is entering its ninth month, and it may intensify after leaders in several of Ethiopia’s regions as well as its capital, Addis Ababa, called on residents, including youth, to mobilize against the Tigray…
Tigrayans who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region stand on a hilltop overlooking Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan, November 26, 2020
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Questions and Answers

Update: This document has been updated to reflect new sanctions measures taken by the UK government on February 18, 2021. This questions-and-answers document provides detailed information about sanctions and other legal and diplomatic measures…
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Laetitia Bader, Human Rights Watch’s Horn of Africa Director, recently returned from a research mission in Sudan to interview refugees who fled the fighting that broke out in Ethiopia’s Tigray region in early November 2020. For several weeks, federal…
People who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region ride a bus to the Village 8 temporary shelter near the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in Hamdayet, eastern Sudan, December 1, 2020. 
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On November 4, 2020, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appeared on state television and acknowledged that he ordered the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) to commence operations against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in response…
Ethiopia country page map
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Pandemic Threatens Refugee Camps, Densely Populated Urban Areas

What are your main concerns about the coronavirus moving through Africa? In many countries where we work there is an extremely weak public health and healthcare infrastructure. The fact that the spread in Africa has been slower than elsewhere…
A member of the Senegalese graffiti collective "RBS CREW" paints informational murals advising how to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, on the wall of a high school in the Parcelles Assainies neighborhood of Dakar, Senegal, March 25, 2020.
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COVID-19 in Europe, the Central Eurasian Region, and Turkey

What are some of your biggest concerns about the coronavirus moving through Europe and Central Asia? Europe is one of the world’s epicenters of COVID-19 cases. There’s an awful death toll in Italy and Spain with the numbers of dead going up…
Military police officers patrol at a market in Budapest, Hungary, March 31, 2020.
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How a Small African Nation Took on Myanmar’s Crisis – and Won

It was a year ago that you started pursuing the unique approach to holding Myanmar accountable in the ICJ. How did that come about? The idea of a country without any connection to the crimes bringing a case to the International Court of Justice had…
Abdul Kareem, a Rohingya Muslim, carries his mother, Alima Khatoon, to a refugee camp after crossing from Burma into Bangladesh on Sept. 16, 2017.
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Several months later, in August 2018, the Somali Region’s president at the time, Abdi Illey – was arrested. As president of the Somali region, he was ultimately responsible for regional security forces in the region. He was replaced by Mustafa Omar, a…
Decorations on a ceiling in Jail Ogaden
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Kachin Women, Girls Displaced by Conflict Face Sexual Slavery

What’s happening in northern Myanmar? There’s a long-running conflict between Myanmar’s government and the Kachin Independence Army and other ethnic armed groups in Kachin State and northern Shan State, which border China. In 2011, the…
“Because of war, we are afraid to stay in our village. So, we moved to an IDP [internally displaced person] camp…The Myanmar army came to attack our village using massive arms…I am the eldest one in my family, and my family has financial problems.
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Genuine Progress on Rights, Yet Ethnic Tensions Loom in Rural Regions

How has Ethiopia changed since you were last there? Addis Ababa, the capital, has changed so much. Unlike before, modern asphalt roads are everywhere, there are freeways, tall, modern shiny buildings, lots of new restaurants…
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  In March 2017, the United Nations Human Rights Council established the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar to “establish the facts and circumstances of the alleged recent human rights violations by military and security…
A group of Rohingya refugees cross a canal after travelling over the Bangladesh-Burma border in Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 1, 2017.
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Ethiopia’s Regional Special Police Tortured, Beat Detainees

Why did you focus on Jail Ogaden? We have researched human rights issues in Ethiopia’s Somali Region for a long time. We released a report in 2008 showing how the military in the Somali region of Ethiopia displaced thousands of people and…
Satellite image of Jail Ogaden May 2016.
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What was your plan when you arrived on the ground in Burma? We’ve been documenting this crisis since the very beginning. We knew there had been sexual violence in some of the massacres we’d looked into, but we didn’t know how widespread it was…
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Since August 25, 2017, when the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a militant group, attacked about 30 police outposts and a military camp in northern Rakhine State, Burmese security forces have carried out mass arson, killings, rape, and looting,…
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On March 24, 2017, the UN Human Rights Council authorized a three-member Fact-Finding Mission to Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi, who leads the country’s civilian government as state counsellor and also serves as foreign minister, has stated that the UN’s…