The country has been scarred by violence on all sides, but there may be much worse to come as Tigrayan civilians are targeted

Genocide happens when warning signs are not heeded. The world looks away, refusing to believe that mass ethnic killing is possible. We hope that the worst will be avoided. But to prevent genocide, we must sound the alarm before we arrive at certainty, write Helen Clark, Michael Lapsley and David Alton in The Guardian.

Rarely before has the danger of genocide been so clearly signalled in advance than in Ethiopia.

No side to this conflict is angelic. All sides in Ethiopia’s conflict have committed violations. But only one side has committed violations on a scale and nature that could credibly qualify as genocide – and that, we regret to say, is the coalition of the Ethiopian government, under the prime minister, Abiy Ahmed; the Amhara regional government; and the state of Eritrea.

Twice in the past year, the world has stood by while this coalition has perpetrated international crimes against civilians of Tigrayan identity – including murder, rape, torture and starvation.

We may now be facing a third atrocity, even larger and bloodier than what has gone before: a possible mass killing of interned civilians in Addis Ababa and elsewhere.

Five warning signs for mass, ethnically targeted violence are flashing red.

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