Ethiopia on Tuesday categorically rejected the report of International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) that accused Addis Ababa of possible ongoing crimes against humanity in its war-torn Tigray region, including using starvation as a weapon.
The Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia said it had found evidence of widespread violations by all sides since fighting erupted in Tigray nearly two years ago. In its statement, the government said that the ICHREE presents its initial findings on the conflict in northern Ethiopia intends to demonize the government of Ethiopia (GoE). The government said that it finds the Report of ICHREE as contained in document A/HRC/5/XX, dated 22 September 2022 incomplete, incoherent, and unsubstantiated. “It is a manifestly political statement issued under the guise of an ‘investigation report,” the statement underlined.
The government of Ethiopia believes that the report was written in breach of all principles of professionalism, independence, impartiality, and standards of proof entailed in any such process under international practice.
“The GoE regrets the hasty, substandard, and agenda-driven pathway the ICHREE chose to discharge its responsibility. It presents its refutation of the context analysis, methodology, and factual and legal findings as follows.”
Criticizing the disputed mandate of the ICHREE that from the very beginning, the Ethiopian Government reiterates its position that the establishment of ICHREE by the Human Rights Council was uncalled for and founded on a series of erroneous premises.
Resolution s-33/1 of 17 December 2021 was adopted after Ethiopia had already accepted the recommendations of the Joint Investigation Report of the EHRC-OHCHR, the statement noted.
Following the Joint Investigation Report, Ethiopian government established the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce (IMTF) to comprehensively deliver on accountability and redress measures and initiated an independent criminal investigation.
The statement further noted that the government of Ethiopia had amply communicated that the Resolution and ICHREE undermine one of the most settled principles of international law – that the primary responsibility for the promotion and protection of human rights rests with states themselves.
This is reaffirmed by the joint investigation report which stated that ‘the primary responsibility for addressing the violations found by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) rests with the Ethiopian Government, as part of its obligation to protect the rights of all persons under its jurisdiction; international mechanisms are complementary to and do not replace national mechanisms’.
The government also slammed the ICHREE which makes alarming remarks in its conclusion about ethnic hatred adding that “It is unacceptable for a human rights body to disseminate such falsehood based on their clumsy work.”
The government has brought perpetrators of violations of human rights to justice and has the commitment, it added.
The government further reaffirmed its commitment that the judicial and law enforcement institutions have the capacity to discharge their responsibility to investigate and bring to justice whoever is responsible for violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
The Ethiopian Government reiterates that it will closely work in collaboration with OHCHR in Ethiopia and other member of the international community.