Ethiopian government airstrikes hit kindergarten killing children in Mekele, capital of Tigray

News

Today at midday, a jet of the fascist regime of Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia dropped bombs at a civilian residential area & kindergarten at Mekelle. Several civilians are dead & injured. More details being assesed & rescue effort is underway.

Attacks on kindergartens, schools and hospitals during conflict is one of the six grave violations identified and condemned by the UN Security Council. The six grave violations form the basis of the Council’s architecture to monitor, report and respond to abuses suffered by children in times of war. Ending and preventing these violations is also the focus of the Special Representative’s work and advocacy.

Attacks on schools and hospitals is a trigger to list parties to armed conflict in the annexes of the annual report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict.

Direct impact of conflict

Schools and hospitals must be free zones from military targets, where children are granted protection even in times of conflict. Yet, there is an increasing trend of schools and hospitals being attacked with detrimental effects on children.

Apart from the direct and physical damage to schools and hospitals, conflict can result in the forced closure or the disrupted functioning of these institutions. Children, teachers, doctors and nurses are also subject to threats by parties to conflict if suspected, for example, to support the other party to the conflict. Also of great concern is the use of schools for military purposes.

Indirect impact of conflict

A general climate of insecurity as a result of conflict also prevents children, teachers and medical personnel from attending school or seeking medical assistance. Parents, for example, may find it too risky to send their children to school in a volatile security situation, or children may be denied timely access to hospitals because of checkpoints and roadblocks.

Prohibition under International Law

Under international humanitarian law, both schools and hospitals are protected civilian objects, and therefore, benefit from the humanitarian principles of distinction and proportionality. Direct physical attacks and the closure of these institutions as a result of direct threats from military targets have since 2011 been added as triggers for inclusion on the list of the Secretary-General of parties to conflict committing grave violations against children in armed conflict.

 

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