Parnership with The Duty Legacy for addressing the atrocities against the Irob people

December 18, 2023

The Duty Legacy

Irob Anina

Ethiopia Crisis: Addressing the atrocities perpetrated against the Irob people in Tigray

The Duty Legacy are thrilled to partner with Irob Anina Civil Society to look into the treatment of the indigenous minority Irob people in Tigray, Ethiopia, amidst the ongoing mass atrocities being perpetrated against them. Through our partnership with Irob Anina Civil Society we will work on the developing a framework for the recognition of indigenous minorities in Tigray and address specific historical events and human rights abuses perpetrated against the Irob people with the goal of promoting truth, justice, reconciliation, and sustainable peace in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

Irob Anina Civil Society is a Non-Governmental, Not-for-Profit and Non-religious civil society organization certified under Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. The main purpose of Irob Anina Civil Society  is advocating for and supporting the indigenous Irob ethnic minority people in Tigray and the Tigray people at large. Irob Anina Civil Society, with headquarters in Canada, operates globally.

The Duty Legacy is a limited company and consultancy organisation operating out of the UK which works with governments, civil society, and local communities to place the agency back into the hand of survivor communities and survivors of atrocity, wherever it occurs through capacity building, peacebuilding and transitional justice on the domestic level, through engaging with civil society to make sure that domestic and foreign policy reflect the needs of survivor communities during transitional justice processes.

ዱቲ ሌጋሲ ምስ ሲቪል ማሕበረሰብ ኢሮብ ኣኒና ብምትሕብባር ኣብ ኢትዮጵያ ኣብ ልዕሊ ህዝቢ ኢሮብ ዝፍፀም ዘሎ ቀፃሊ ጃምላዊ ግፍዕታት ኣብ ኢትዮጵያ ኣተሓሕዛ ህዝቢ ኢሮብ ንምዕዛብ ብጣዕሚ ተሓጒሱ ኣሎ። ምስ ኢሮብ ኣኒና ሲቪል ማሕበረሰብ ብዝገበርናዮ ሽርክነት ኣብ ልዕሊ ህዝቢ ኢሮብ ዝፍፀሙ ፍሉያት ታሪኻዊ ፍፃመታትን ግህሰት ሰብኣዊ መሰላትን ንምፍታሕ ኣብ ውድብ ሕቡራት ሃገራትን ኮሚሽን ኣፍሪካን ንውሑዳት ደቀባት ትግራይ ኣፍልጦ ዝህብ ማዕቀፍ ኣብ ምምዕባል ክንሰርሕ ኢና ብዝብል ዕላማ ኣብ ክልል ትግራይ ኢትዮጵያ ሓቂ፣ ፍትሒ፣ ዕርቂን  ዘላቒ ሰላምን ኣብ ምድንፋዕ ክሕግዝ'ዩ።

ኢሮብ አኒና ሲቪል ማሕበረሰብ  (Irob Anina Civil Society) ብመሰረት ሕጊ ንመኽሰብ ዘይሰርሑ ኮርፖሬሽናት ካናዳ ሕጋዊ ሰብነቱ ዝተረጋገጸ ዘይመንግስታዊ፣ ንመኽሰብ ዘይሰርሕ፣ ዘይሃይማኖታዊን ሲቪላዊን ማሕበር እዩ። ቀንዲ ዕላማ ኢሮብ አኒና ሲቪል ማሕበረሰብ  (Irob Anina Civil Society) ኣብ ትግራይ ብፍሉይ ውሑድን ደቀባት  ዝኾነ ብሄረሰብ ህዝብ ኢሮብን  ብሓባራ ንመላእ ህዝብ ትግራይ ምጉስጓስን ምሕጋዝን እዩ። ኢሮብ አኒና ሲቪል ማሕበረሰብ  (Irob Anina Civil Society) ዋና ቤት ጽሕፈቱ ኣብ ካናዳ ገይሩ  ብደረጃ ዓለምለኸ ይሰርሕ።

ዱቲ ሌጋሲ ካብ ዓዲ እንግሊዝ ወጻኢ ዝንቀሳቐስ ውሱን ኩባንያን ኣማኻሪ ትካልን ኮይኑ ምስ መንግስታት፣ ሲቪላዊ ማሕበረሰባትን ከባብያዊ ማሕበረሰባትን ብምትሕብባር ነቲ ትካል ብህንጸት ዓቕሚ፣ ህንጸት ሰላም ኣብ ዝኾነ ቦታ ናብ ኢድ እቶም ካብ ግፍዒ ዝደሓኑ ማሕበረሰባትን ካብ ግፍዒ ዝደሓኑን ንምምላስ ይሰርሕ ከምኡ’ውን መሰጋገሪ ፍትሒ ብደረጃ ውሽጢ ሃገር፡ ውሽጣውን ወጻእን ፖሊሲ ኣብ እዋን መስርሕ መሰጋገሪ ፍትሒ ድሌታት ናይቶም ብህይወት ዝተረፉ ማሕበረሰባት ዘንጸባርቕ ምዃኑ ንምርግጋጽ ምስ ሲቪላዊ ማሕበራት ብምትሕብባር።

The International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia released its final report on the human rights abuses in Ethiopia during the two-year conflict in Tigray, Amhara, Afar, and Oromia between 2020 and 2022 on October 13th 2023. The report highlights the scale of violations and abuses by all parties involved, including the Ethiopian National Defence Forces, Eritrean Defence Forces, and allied regional Special Forces and militias. The report found that the Ethiopian National Defence Forces, Eritrean Defence Forces, and allied regional Special Forces and militias were responsible for mass killings, widespread rape and sexual violence, deliberate starvation, forced displacement, and large-scale arbitrary detentions, amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity. The report also highlighted the need for credible accountability for violations and crimes, as without it, impunity will continue. The closure of the Commission's mandate leaves victims in limbo, and states must continue to prioritize human rights in Ethiopia.

Background to the Conflict

Ethiopia has long struggled with severe armed conflict, various ethnic groups accuse others of attempts to exterminate their populations, while various governments have failed time and time again, to pacify the nation as a whole. But now human experts say Ethiopia could be on the verge of even greater atrocities being committed with almost all risk factors present. Here's a look now at some of the brutal dynamics at play in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia continues to go down a dangerous path. That's the latest UN report, which reveals all eight of the common risk factors of atrocity crimes are taking place in parts of the country. It expressed alarm over ongoing unrest in the Amhara region. Late September 50 Amhara militia were killed during clashes against government security forces. And despite a 2021 ceasefire that ended a three year war between the Ethiopian government with its allies and the Tigrayan regional forces, the Amhara forces and militia continued to occupy the Western and parts of Southern Tigray where the ethnic cleansing of Tigrayans hasn't been stopped  and other violations are ongoing. The Eritrean forces also continued to occupy the border districts of  the northwestern, northern and northeastern Tigray where they continued to commit atrocities and blockade humanitarian aid access, some areas like the Irob district since early November 2020. There are also reliable reports of insecurity and alarming evidence of extrajudicial killings in the areas of the Tigray region that is administered by the Interim authority of the region, following the cessation of hostilities agreement between the Federal government of Ethiopia and Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

There is a very real and imminent risk that the situation will deteriorate further and it is incumbent upon the international community to ensure that investigations persist so human rights violations can be addressed and the worst tragedies averted.

More information

The Guardian: "‘People are under siege’: why Ethiopia’s war in Tigray isn’t over":

Urgent appeal for Women in Tigray from Hamlin Fistula UK:

The Irob People

The Irob people are an ethnic group in Ethiopia who mainly reside in the northeastern part of the country, primarily in the Irob Woreda (district) of the Tigray region, near the border with Eritrea. The Irob  primarily speak Saho (Irob dialect - also known as Irob-Saho) language , which belongs to the Cushetic  branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Unlike Saho language dialects elsewhere, the Irob use Ge’ez scripts (alphabet letters) for writing. Some Irobs also speak Tigrinya, the official language of the Tigray region. 

The Irob people are primarily engaged in agriculture, with farming and animal husbandry being the main economic activities. They cultivate crops such as maize, sorghum, barley, and wheat, and also rear livestock including cattle, sheep, and goats. Additionally, trade plays some  role in their economy. When there was peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the borders between the two countries were open, and Ethiopia was using the ports through Eritrea, cross-border trading was playing a significant role in their economy.  

The Irob people have a unique cultural heritage and have preserved their traditional practices, beliefs, and rituals over generations. They have their own social structures, customs, and traditional clothing. As the place where modern education was first started in Ethiopia, the Irob also places a high emphasis on education, with efforts to improve educational opportunities for their youth.

However, it is important to note that in recent years, the Irob people, like other communities in the Tigray region, have faced humanitarian crises  due to the war  and political tensions in Ethiopia. The ongoing violations of human rights and humanitarian laws in the district and other areas in Tigray bordering Eritrea, despite the ceasefire in November 2022, have severely impacted their lives and livelihoods - threatening their very existence as a minority ethnic group. 

For a deeper understanding of the current situation, it is advisable to refer to reliable sources, news outlets, and organizations specializing in this region.

ህዝቢ ኢሮብ ኣብ ኢትዮጵያ ብቐንዱ ኣብ ሰሜናዊ ምብራቕ ክፋል እታ ሃገር ብቐንዱ ኣብ ወረዳ ኢሮብ ክልል ትግራይ፣ ኣብ ጥቓ ዶብ ኤርትራ ዝነብር ብሄር እዩ። ኢሮብ ብቐንዱ ቋንቋ ሳሆ (ላህጃ ኢሮብ - ብኢሮብ-ሳሆ ዝፍለጥ) ቋንቋ ይዛረቡ ፣ እዚ ድማ ኣብ ጨንፈር ኩሸቲክ ኣፍሮ-ኤስያ ስድራቤት ቋንቋ ዝምደብ እዩ። ኢሮቦቶት ካብ ካልኦት ከባቢታት  ላህጃታት ቋንቋ ሳሆ ፍልይ ብዝበለ፡ ንጽሑፍ ቋንቋኦም ፊደላት ግእዝ ይጥቀሙ። ገልኦም  ኢሮቦቶት ወግዓዊ ቋንቋ ክልል ትግራይ ዝኾነ ትግርኛ እውን ይዛረቡ።

ህዝቢ ኢሮብ ብቐንዱ ኣብ ሕርሻ ዝተዋፈረ ኮይኑ፡ ሕርሻን ምርባሕ እንስሳን ቀንዲ ቁጠባዊ ምንቅስቓሳቱ እዩ። ከም ስገም፣ ጣፍ፣ ስርናይን ዕልቦን (ባሕሪሹም) ዝኣመሰሉ ኣእካልን ጥረምረን፡ ከምኡ’ውን ከብቲ፡ ኣባጊዕን ኣጣልን ሓዊሱ ጥሪት የርብሑ። የርብሑ። ብተወሳኺ ንግዲ ኣብ ቁጠባኦም ርኡይ ተራ ኣለዎ። ኣብ መንጎ ኢትዮጵያን ኤርትራን ሰላም ሃልዩ ዶባት ክልቲኤን ሃገራት ክፉት ኣብ ዝነበረሉ እዋን፡ ኢትዮጵያ'ውን ብኤርትራ ኣቢላ ወደባት ትጥቀመሉ ኣብ ዝነበረትሉ እዋን፡ ስግረ-ዶባዊ ንግዲ ኣብ ቁጠባኦም ልዑል ተራ ይጻወት ነይሩ።

ህዝቢ ኢሮብ ፍሉይ ባህላዊ ቅርሲ ዘለዎ ኮይኑ ባህላዊ ኣሰራርሓኡ፣ እምነቱ፣ ስርዓታቱ ንወለዶታት ዓቂቡ እዩ። ናይ ገዛእ ርእሶም ማሕበራዊ ኣቃውማ፡ ልምዲ፡ ባህላዊ ኣከዳድና ኣለዎም። ኣብ ኢትዮጵያ መጀመርያ ዘመናዊ ትምህርቲ ዝተጀመረሉ ቦታ ብምዃኑ፡ ኢሮብ ኣብ ትምህርቲ እውን ልዑል ትኹረት ይህብ፣ ንመንእሰያቶም ዕድላት ትምህርቲ ንምምሕያሽ ጻዕርታት ይገብሩ።

ይኹን እምበር ኣብ ዝሓለፉ ዓመታት ህዝቢ ኢሮብ ከም ካልኦት ማሕበረሰባት ክልል ትግራይ ብሰንኪ ኣብ ኢትዮጵያ ዘሎ ኲናትን ፖለቲካዊ ወጥሪን ሰብኣዊ ቅልውላው ኣጋጢምዎ ከምዘሎ ምፍላጥ ኣገዳሲ እዩ። ኣብታ ወረዳን ካልእ ምስ ኤርትራ ዝዳወብ ከባቢታት ትግራይን ዝካየድ ዘሎ ግህሰት ሰብኣዊ መሰላትን ሰብኣዊ ሕግታትን፡ ዋላ’ኳ ኣብ ሕዳር 2022 ተኹሲ ደው ምባል እንተነበረ፡ ንህይወቶምን መነባብሮኦምን ኸቢድ ጽልዋ ኣሕዲሩ - ብሰንኪ ውሑዳት ምዃኖም ከም ብሄር ናይ ምቅጻል ተክእሎኦም ኣብ ሓደጋ ኣእትዩ ይርኸብ። 

ብዛዕባ ህሉው ኩነታት ብዕምቆት ንምርዳእ፡ እሙናት ምንጭታት፡ ማዕከናት ዜና፡ ከምኡ’ውን ኣብዚ ዞባ ዝነጥፉ ትካላት ምውካስ ይምከር።