UN Delegation Returns from Human Rights Fact-Finding Mission in Ethiopia

Three independent UN-appointed human rights experts returned from Ethiopia on Tuesday after working to negotiate access to areas critical to the investigation.

It United Nations International Commission of Human Rights Experts for Ethiopia mandated to conduct thorough and impartial investigations into allegations of violations and violations of international human rights law.

In particular, it will investigate violations international humanitarian law and international refugee law in the country of Ethiopia carried out on 3 November 2020 by all parties to the conflict in the Tigray region.

Meeting for access

Originally created by Human Rights Council On 17 December 2021, the three-member Commission – consisting of Kaari Betty Murungi (Chair), Steven Ratner and Radhika Coomaraswamy – concluded a five-day visit to the country during which they met with the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and other senior government officials. .

Members hope their meetings with officials will result in “immediate and absolute access to the site” as well as their ability to gather testimony.

The Commission is also tasked with providing guidance and recommendations on technical assistance to the Government of Ethiopia on transitional justice, including accountability, reconciliation and healing.

In addition, members met with members of the National Dialogue Commission and Inter-Ministerial Task Force, Ethiopian National Human Rights Commission, civil society, diplomats, and UN agencies and staff in Ethiopia to discuss the current human rights situation in the country.

Investigation continues

Commission presented first update to the Council on June 30, 2022 after UN-appointed investigators announced that they had launched an investigation into the alleged massacre of at least 200 people in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.

Talking on the sidelines Human Rights Council in Geneva at the time, Ms. Murungi said that while continuing its work investigating rights abuses related to the conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region that flared up in November 2020, the Commission has received reports of killings in West Oromia,

Despite the many other conflicts around the world, Ms. Murungi has stressed that the world must not ignore what is happening in Ethiopia.

“The ongoing spread of violence, fueled by hate speech and incitement to ethnic and gender-based violence, is an early warning indicator of further atrocities against innocent civilians, especially more vulnerable women and children.”

The Commission is scheduled to submit a written report to the human rights agency on this trip during its next session in September 2022.

Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council to examine and report back on specific human rights themes or country situations. These positions are honorary and experts are not paid for their work.

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UN Delegation Returns from Human Rights Fact-Finding Mission in Ethiopia

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