Ethiopia Clarifies Position on Transitional Justice Mechanism, Mandate of ICHREE to EU Ambassadors

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Addis Ababa( Ena) February 3/2023/ Senior officials from Ethiopia’s Ministry of Justice and Foreign Affairs conferred with ambassadors from European Union member states in Ethiopia today to discuss ways to collaborate on issues relating to human rights protection and accountability.

Ethiopia’s Minister of Justice, Gedion Timotheos presented remarks reiterating Ethiopia’s commitment to the full implementation of the Pretoria-signed Permanent Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) and subsequent agreements that hammer out details of the implementation frameworks.

In connection with that, he briefed the ambassadors about the contents of the document, “Policy Options for Transitional Justice in Ethiopia,” which is prepared to address the current socio-political realities of the country based on accountability, truth seeking, redress for victims, and reconciliation and healing.

He reiterated that the document was made public in order to gather input from all stakeholders and civil society groups through public consultations and formal national policymaking processes, further inviting the European Union and member states to enrich it with expert opinions.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mesganu Arga offered remarks in which he expressed hope that today’s meeting with EU ambassadors will help both sides restore and strengthen relations.

Despite Ethiopia’s best efforts to ensure accountability, the EU opted to form an International Commission of Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE), which he says overstepped its mandate by participating in politically motivated activities.

He called for the ICHREE’s mandate to be terminated as it would undermine the Pretoria Peace Agreement and ongoing cooperation between the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The conference ended with the ambassadors appreciating Ethiopia’s openness to cooperating with the EU on accountability issues and addressing their concerns that needed further clarification.

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