Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Ethiopia — Despite ongoing atrocities in the region, a UN-mandated investigation into human rights abuses in Ethiopia will conclude next week. UN Human Rights Council spokesperson Pascal Sim confirmed that none of the parties involved sought an extension by the deadline on Wednesday.

The International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia was established in 2021 following a proposal by the European Union. It is set to officially conclude its mandate after October 13, 2023, as stated by Sim to CNN.

This development follows the release of a report by the commission earlier in the week, which warned of the persistent risk of human rights violations in Ethiopia and underscored the urgent necessity for continued independent inquiries into the country’s human rights situation.

Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region plunged into conflict in November 2020 as government forces clashed with rebel factions, resulting in widespread atrocities committed by various parties.

While a peace agreement, known as the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, was reached between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in November of the previous year, the commission’s report notes that a year later, atrocities persist in parts of the Tigray region.

Reports indicate that opposition from African states dissuaded advocates for extending the mandate. Last year, the mandate was renewed by a slim margin, according to Reuters.

Human Rights Watch expressed disappointment with the European Union and its members, alleging that they have shifted their stance on investigating Ethiopia’s human rights situation. Tirana Hassan, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, called it a “devastating blow” for victims of atrocities in Ethiopia who had placed their hopes in the commission.

An EU spokesperson informed CNN that “justice and accountability are clear conditions for the gradual normalization of relations with Ethiopia.” They added that European nations have yet to reach a consensus on introducing a resolution for a new mandate.

Ethiopia has consistently opposed the UN-mandated investigation, asserting that its own national justice mechanisms are sufficient for conducting inquiries, as reported by Reuters. The UN commission has criticized this approach as “deeply flawed.”

When asked for comment, Ethiopian government spokesperson Legesse Tulu responded via text message, stating, “This is the end of (ICHREE’s) history (in) Ethiopia.” He later added, “There is no need to talk about a dead end.”

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