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52nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 2 - Interactive Dialogue with the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia

March 21, 2023

Mr. President,

Today’s oral update is timely.

Four months after the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan authorities signed a cessation of hostilities agreement, grave violations that led to the establishment of this Council’s International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) continue, highlighting its ongoing and essential role.  

Eritrean forces remain in Tigray and have continued to commit widespread killings and sexual violence. In Western Tigray, Amhara regional forces and interim authorities have forcibly expelled hundreds of Tigrayans from the zone in just the last months. Government forces and armed groups also commit serious abuses in other parts of the country. In Oromia, a four-year-long counterinsurgency campaign has targeted civilians and aid workers. In different regions, authorities have also responded to largely peaceful protests with excessive and at times lethal force.

Many abuses are obscured by the government’s restrictions on media and rights reporting. The authorities recently shut down social media platforms and arrested journalists and rights defenders. Particularly telling of the government attempts to control investigations that could implicate perpetrators at the highest levels have been its blocking of international and African regional human rights investigations, including its calls to terminate ICHREE’s mandate mid-term.

As people throughout the country continue to suffer abuses and express mistrust in state institutions, credible, impartial, and independent investigations remain critical. The Council should support the countless survivors, victims, and their families across Ethiopia who seek justice, redress, and the opportunity for their suffering to be publicly acknowledged.

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