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Members of Human Rights Body Conclude First Mission to Ethiopia

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GENEVA/ADDIS ABABA (2 August 2022) – The three members of the UN International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia concluded their first visit to Ethiopia, which took place from 25 to 30 July, after having met with various individuals to discuss several aspects related to their mandate.

The Commission’s experts - Ms. Kaari Betty Murungi – Chair (Kenya), Mr. Steven Ratner (USA), and Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy (Sri Lanka) - met with government officials, including the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice, and other senior officials. They also met with members of the National Dialogue Commission and Inter-Ministerial Task Force, members of the Ethiopia National Human Rights Commission, members of civil society, diplomats, and UN agencies and staff in Ethiopia to discuss the current human rights situation in the country.

During its meetings with government officials, the Commission discussed modalities for cooperation, including its interpretation of its mandate, and reiterated its requests for access to areas relevant for its investigation. The Commission hopes that the government will provide it with unhindered access without delay, so that it may visit sites and speak freely and privately with survivors, witnesses, and other persons of interest.

The three-member Commission, created by the Human Rights Council on 17 December 2021, is charged with conducting a thorough and impartial investigation into allegations of violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law and international refugee law in Ethiopia committed since 3 November 2020 by all parties to the conflict. The Commission also has a mandate to provide guidance and recommendations on technical assistance to the Government of Ethiopia on transitional justice, including accountability, reconciliation and healing.

The Commission presented its first update to the Council on 30 June 2022, and is scheduled to present a written report to the human rights body at its next session in September 2022.