Geneva: Eritrea`s government has systematically committed crimes against humanity over the last 25 years, with top ranking officials bearing direct responsibility, UN investigators said Wednesday.
The second report of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) on human rights in the secretive Horn of Africa nation also said there was a "rule of law vacuum" there.
The independent UN investigators found sweeping evidence that Eritrean officials, especially in the security services, were guilty of enslavement, enforced disappearances, torture, rape and murder, among other offences.
These acts were perpetrated to terrify and control the civilian population, while crushing opposition, the COI said.
"Crimes against humanity have been committed in a widespread and systematic manner in Eritrean detention facilities, military training camps and other locations across the country over the past 25 years," the commission said in a press release.
"Particular individuals, including officials at the highest levels of state, the ruling party - the People`s Front for Democracy and Justice - and commanding officers bear responsibility for crimes against humanity," according to the COI.