The mandate of an independent investigation expires this month as no country has requested an extension, the outlet reported
A UN-backed investigation into human rights violations in Ethiopia after a two-year civil war is set to conclude after no country submitted a resolution seeking an extension, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Wednesday.
The inquiry will be terminated when the mandate of the independent International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia expires this month, according to the outlet.
On Tuesday, the commission’s experts urged the Human Rights Council in Geneva to extend the probe, claiming that atrocities continue in the East African nation’s northern region of Tigray, which has been devastated by the war.
According to UN experts, Eritrean forces aligned with Ethiopia’s military were still committing acts of violence against women in Tigray, including rape and sexual slavery. They also expressed concern about reports of extrajudicial killings and mass detentions in Amhara, Ethiopia’s second-most populous state.
“There is a very real and imminent risk that the situation will deteriorate further, and it is incumbent upon the international community to ensure that investigations persist so human rights violations can be addressed, and the worst tragedies averted,” AP quoted commission member Steven Ratner as saying.
Allegations of abuses have persisted since the formal cessation of hostilities last November, when the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) signed the Pretoria Agreement, an African Union-mediated peace deal concluded in the South African capital.
The intense war that erupted in 2020 was named the world’s deadliest conflict in 2022 by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), with well over 100,000 people killed.
The European Union helped set up the UN independent commission in 2021 as a means of ensuring accountability for war crimes committed during the fighting. It has since published two full-length reports, claiming to have found “reasonable grounds to believe” that parties in the conflict committed war crimes and other abuses. Last month, the commission experts said a national transitional justice process launched by Ethiopia “falls well short” of international standards.
Addis Ababa has long demanded an end to the probe, claiming that it is politically motivated.
In August, Ethiopian Defense Minister Abraham Belay announced that the government was working to resolve “neglected” issues that were causing “serious harm” to citizens in accordance with constitutional law and the Pretoria peace deal.
October 06, 2023 at 04:59PM