Twitter Threads by Kjetil Tronvoll


(Source: Kjetil Tronvoll, 23 december 2020) – 

Professor of peace/conflict studies at Bjørknes University College and Director of Oslo Analytica: Political anthropologist, Africa analyst, conflict advisor

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5h, 9 tweets, 8 min read
Thread: The statements and evidences on the horrendous atrocities taking place in the war on #Tigray #Ethiopia are mounting, despite the fed gov imposed information blockage. | Terrified’ survivors recount attacks on civilians in Tigray | AFP

It seems clear that widespread and systematic #humanrights violations mounting to #CrimesAgainstHumanity and #WarCrimes are taking place in #Tigray #Ethiopia.
Whether we are also observing a #Genocide in the making in #Tigray #Ethiopia, is leagally speaking too early to confirm due to lack of access. #GenocideWatch and #UN special advisor on the prevention of genocide have expressed concerns in this regard however.
So, if the situation is so dire in #Tigray #Ethiopia, why isn’t the international society, ambassadors, #UN, #AU doing more to prevent the ongoing atrocities? Since we are talking about possible #genocide, this is, ironically, actually an impediment to international action.
As I teach my #IR students, in dire political contexts as widespread #HumanRights abuse or grand corruption, it is equally important for an ambassador to know what «not to know», as to know «what to know». Knowledge formalises responsibility to take action. #Tigray #Ethiopia
If #UN or an Embassy officially state they have sufficient information pointing to #genocide in #Tigray #Ethiopia, they are obliged to take action to try to prevent it, according to #InternationalLaw. That put them in a very difficult #diplomatic position vis-a-vis Ethiopian gov.
Better then to «not know», as the responsibility to know is too heavy. This is why we see that most #Embassies in #Ethiopia stay quiet on commenting in details on the known atrocities taking place, and instead issue general statements of concern, which are non-binding on action.
This interim period of «lack of knowledge» hence «in-action» will eventually be broken when systematic video-evidence from the atrocities #Tigray #Ethiopia are reaching an international audience. Hence the importance to sustain information blockage by the Ethiopian government.
The term used for such diplomatic posture is «plausible deniability» – that when the day of reckoning occures, one can stand and claim «I did not know anything about this…». Continue Reading

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