40 Organizations Condemn UNHRC’s Failure to Extend ICHREE Mandate,

Mekelle፡ 11 October 2023(Tigray Herald)

40 Organizations Condemn UNHRC’s Failure to Extend ICHREE Mandate, Abandonment of Ethiopia Human Rights Investigation
In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, 40 organizations expressed their strong condemnation of the decision by United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Member States not to extend the mandate of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE).

According to the statement this decision, resulting in the expiration of the Commission’s mandate in December 2023, marks a significant setback in the protection of human rights in Ethiopia and demonstrates a failure of the UNHRC in fulfilling its mission.

The organizations emphasize the critical role played by ICHREE as the only independent international body investigating the grave human rights violations in Ethiopia, including weaponized starvation, abuse, and widespread human rights abuses. They condemn the UNHRC’s inaction as a “grave dereliction of duty and a disregard for the ongoing suffering of innocent civilians in Tigray, Oromia, Amhara, and other regions of Ethiopia.”

According to the statement, there is significant concern about the decision to allow the mandate of ICHREE to expire, especially considering the imminent risk of further atrocities in Ethiopia. This concern is further highlighted by the Commission’s 2023 report. The statement also mentions that respected organizations such as Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), Human Rights Watch (HRW), and Amnesty International have presented evidence of ongoing human rights abuses in addition to ICHREE’s findings.

Furthermore, the statement emphasizes that the testimonies of survivors, as documented in ICHREE’s report, further emphasize the lack of confidence in Ethiopia’s transitional justice process and make it ineffective in delivering justice.

The organizations warned that the UNHRC’s decision not only undermines the core values upon which the United Nations was founded but also establishes a dangerous precedent that can have far-reaching consequences for justice and accountability worldwide. Adding that, the failure to acknowledge and consider the evidence provided by ICHREE is seen as a significant setback in the effort to protect and promote human rights in communities across the globe.

The organizations also call on UNHRC Member States to establish alternative mechanisms that ensure independent investigation and monitoring of human rights abuses in Ethiopia.

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