Source Reuters

Ethiopia is courting support for a motion to cut short a U.N.-mandated inquiry into atrocities in the Tigray war, five diplomats said, in a move that could divide African and Western nations.

The Ethiopian government’s two-year conflict with forces in the northern Tigray region ended last November with thousands dead and millions uprooted. Both sides blamed each other for widely-documented atrocities, including massacres, rape and detentionswithout trial.

Though the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council has never ended a probe before its mandate, Addis Ababa has circulated a draft version of a resolution calling for the Tigray inquiry to stop some six months early. That would also block publication of findings and a final debate at the council.

Ethiopian government spokesperson Legesse Tulu and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s spokesperson Billene Seyoum did not respond to requests for comment.

Addis Ababa has opposed the investigation from the outset, calling it politically motivated and trying to block funding.

Ethiopia’s proposed motion has not yet been formally submitted to the 47-member rights council, which meets from Monday until April 4. Two of the diplomats familiar with the matter said there were ongoing efforts to dissuade Addis Ababa.

“It would be a terrible precedent,” said a Western diplomat in Geneva.