In response to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNRC) decision to extend the mandate of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) to continue to monitor and document crimes under international law and human rights violations in the country, Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, said:
“The adoption of the UN Human Rights Council’s resolution to extend the mandate of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia underscores the critical need to continue to document crimes under international law and human rights violations and abuses, and preserve the evidence of crimes that are currently being committed in the country.
“This decision gives hope to the victims of the ongoing human rights violations in Ethiopia that someone is standing with them and that all those suspected of criminal responsibility are being watched to ensure justice, truth and reparation for victims.
“The Ethiopian government must give full access to the Commission and fully support its work. The United Nations General Assembly must support the mandate given to the ICHREE, including with the resources and staffing it needs. Additionally, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Ethiopian Human Rights Commission should fully support and cooperate by facilitating access to information and evidence held in their custody.”
For decades, Amnesty International has documented gross human rights violations and abuses that amount to crimes under international law in Ethiopia. In the ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia, Amnesty International has documented crimes committed by all parties to the conflict, including war crimes.
Gaps in Ethiopian criminal laws impede justice, truth and reparation for gross human rights violations, both past and present. Impunity is exacerbated by the fact that the government is not able to exercise jurisdiction over some of the forces, including the Eritrean Defence Forces and the Tigrayan forces, suspected of responsibility for violations and abuses in northern Ethiopia.
Amnesty International recalls that all states are permitted to exercise jurisdiction over crimes under international law, regardless of where the crimes were committed, or the nationality of the suspect or the victims.