Release of Political Prisoners
In early November 2020, shortly after the declaration of war on Tigray, the Ethiopian government disarmed hundreds of ethnic Tigrayans serving as part of the United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU) Peacekeeping forces in Somalia. The Ethiopian government rounded up ethnic Tigrayan personnel from the UN peacekeeping mission and forced them back to Addis Ababa in November. Officials within the UN expressed their concerns about the fate of these Tigrayan service members, fearing that they would be tortured or even executed upon reaching Ethiopia. Similarly, 200 to 300 Tigrayan soldiers in the AU peacekeeping force were disarmed and confined to their base in Somalia. As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet stated, the situation remains “worrying and volatile.” The safety, security, and whereabouts of Tigrayan service members purged from various missions remains unknown.