GSTS Condemns UN-HRC’s Failure to Renew ICHREE Mandate

Mekelle፡ 11 October 2023(Tigray Herald)

GSTS Condemns UN-HRC’s Failure to Renew ICHREE Mandate
The Global Society of Tigrai Scholars and Professionals (GSTS) expresses dismay at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UN-HRC) and its Member States for their failure to extend the mandate of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE).

In a press statement on Monday, GSTS strongly condemns the abrogation of the mandate of the international commission of experts and joins the international community in denouncing the consequences for human rights protection, prevention of atrocity crimes, justice, and accountability in Ethiopia and beyond.

GSTS also asserts that the UN-HRC has turned its back on the victims and survivors of the horrific crimes committed during the course of the war.

The Society stated that the termination of the ICHREE’s mandate is “grossly negligent,” especially considering the gravity of past atrocities documented in the ICHREE’s report to the 54th session of the UN-HRC.

Furthermore, GSTS noted, this decision comes in the face of ongoing extensive violations against Tigrayans perpetrated by Amhara forces, Fano militia, and Eritrean soldiers, despite the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement nearly a year ago. The termination of the ICHREE’s mandate also occurs amidst the denial of access to mass atrocity sites in Tigray and the ICHREE’s recent report highlighting the acute risk of further atrocity crimes in Ethiopia.

GSTS believes that the need for international and independent investigation is undeniable. The ICHREE’s report has revealed the magnitude, nature, and complexity of grave and systematic violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Tigray, as well as the failure of the Ethiopian government and international mediators to fulfill promises made in the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and subsequent Nairobi Executive Talks. The Ethiopian government’s failure to uphold its human rights commitments and the prevalence of widespread violent confrontations across the country further support the necessity of ongoing investigation and accountability.

In light of these findings, GSTS asserts that the Ethiopian justice system lacks the capability and jurisdiction to deliver justice to the victims. The direct responsibility demonstrated by the Ethiopian state apparatus and its current leadership in the commission of atrocity crimes necessitates an international response. Moreover, the involvement of foreign actors, particularly Eritrean forces, reveals the international dimension of the genocidal war in Tigray, rendering the Ethiopian justice system inadequate for addressing accountability. Survivors and victim communities lack trust in domestic justice mechanisms, including the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Inter-Ministerial Task Force (IMTF), National Dialogue Commission (NDC), and justice systems.

GSTS also calls for an urgent establishment of an international mechanisms capable of delivering genuine, inclusive, credible, victim-centered justice and truth to the victims of atrocity crimes in Tigray. It says the international community must address the widespread lack of trust in state institutions and ensure that foreign actors involved in the conflict are held accountable.

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