The United Nations Human Rights Council has adopted a proposal to set up an international expert panel to report on violations committed by all sides in Ethiopia's year-old war.
The UN Human Rights Council has voted to launch an international investigation into alleged abuses in Ethiopia, despite protests from Addis Ababa.
The vote on the resolution was 21 states in favour, 15 against including China and Russia, with 11 abstentions at the 47-member forum in Geneva on Friday.
The European Union and other Western countries presented the draft resolution to create a three-person team with a one-year mandate to monitor and report on alleged rights abuses in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia and the African Group of countries had called in the debate for its rejection, but several African countries including Senegal and Sudan broke ranks and abstained, the tally showed.
Ethiopia's Ambassador Zenebe Kebede rejected the resolution during the council meeting, calling it a “deliberate destabilisation effort."
He said the government “will not cooperate with any mechanism imposed on it.”
Kebede charged that the UN council was "being used as an instrument of political pressure", adding that multilateralism had been "hijacked by a neo-colonialist mentality."
“Ethiopia is being targeted and singled out at the Human Rights Council for defending a democratically elected government, the peace and the future of its people," the ambassador said.
Several nations also came to Ethiopia's defence.
Cameroon's ambassador Salomon Eheth insisted on behalf of African countries that the requested investigation would be "counterproductive and susceptible to exacerbating tensions".
Reports of violations
A joint investigation by the UN rights office warned last month that possible war crimes and crimes against humanity had been committed by all sides during the conflict.
Addressing the council in an emergency meeting, deputy rights chief Nada al Nashif said Friday the rights office had since continued "to receive credible reports of severe human rights violations and abuses by all parties".
She voiced particular concern about surging rights abuses after a nationwide state of emergency was declared on November 2, with mass arrests mainly of ethnic Tigrayans.
Many diplomats voiced alarm at reports of atrocities in the conflict, which the UN says has left thousands dead, displaced more than two million people and pushed hundreds of thousands to the brink of famine.