Delivering justice for Libya not ‘Mission Impossible’, Security Council hears

Addressing the Security Council from Libyan soil for the first time ever, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor acknowledged that while challenges abound, justice for the Libyan people is not “Mission Impossible”.

“If we are willing to forge new partnerships…look at new ways of working together…[and] coalesce around human values…we can do much better in delivering justice for the people of Libya and hopefully that will assist in a wider hope for sustainable peace”, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan told the ambassadors via video link.

Recounting his experiences over the last few days, he stressed that “we need to do better” and be more relevant.

Mr. Khan explained that he’d seen victims from all parts of Libya, from Benghazi to Derna, including detention victims from the Jura, Musoke and Chimera.

Tarhunah landfill

He recalled a two-hour drive out of Tripoli, to a place called Tarhunah where people live in inhumane conditions and spoke of “poor souls who were executed” and farms “that became mass graves”.

Along with deep fears, dead dogs and goats made it an “extremely difficult technical task” to clear away mounds of rubbish to find bodies “that had been thrown in as a result, it seems, of crimes within the court’s jurisdiction”.

While applauding the courageous work of Libyan forensic experts, the ICC prosecutor noted that although 250 bodies have been recovered to date, far fewer have been identified.

Being relevant

At a different location, he spoke to other victims and survivors, including one man who lost 24 family members, and another 15.

A mother gave a dignified but compelling account of what she had witnessed in “the type of heartbreak” that only a survivor can tell.

Echoing long-held feelings concerning what the international community is doing and when the ICC will deliver justice, Mr. Khan said, “there is fatigue in Libya”.

Noting that 2011 “is long time ago”, he acknowledged that “we need to make sure that we are seen to be relevant”.

Partnerships pay-off

Victims want the truth, they want their voices to be heard, and they want allegations to be determined by independent and impartial judges, the ICC prosecutor upheld.

And he argued against allowing the sentiment that impunity is inevitable to become pervasive.

Mr. Kahn said that good progress has been made on transparency and measurable objectives because of the partnerships being built.

“For the first time since 2011, I can report a regular presence by the staff of my office in the region. In the last reporting period…there’s been 20 missions to six countries in which a variety of evidentiary material has been collected”, said Mr. Khan.

He said that partnerships have already begun paying dividends, detailing that last month, the Joint Investigative Team allowed the transfer of three individuals from Ethiopia to the domestic courts in Italy and the Netherlands.

“This shows the consistency…[that] the International Criminal Court is not an apex court. It is a hub and we need to work together to make sure there is less space for impunity and greater efforts. Accountability”, spelled out the ICC prosecutor.

Moving forward

“Libya is a key stakeholder. We are in Libya. This country is owned by Libya. The overwhelming crimes are against Libyans. And this partnership that we’re trying to refocus and build, and foster is absolutely pivotal if we’re to move things forward”, continued the ICC justice.

While acknowledging that “cooperation is not perfect”, he believed that collectively, “we can move things forward”.

“It’s really not about power. It’s not about the powerful”, underscored Mr. Khan.

It is about those who want the very basics, to live in peace, and when they’ve suffered loss, to know what happened.

They also need “a modicum of justice” – not as a value or idea, but rather “felt by the Libyan people”.

 

Source: United Nations

African Youth Month To Be Celebrated in Ethiopia with Various Events

Ethiopia has been making preparations to celebrate ‘African Youth Month’ in various parts of the country under the theme: “Active Participation of Youths & Inclusiveness for Personality Development!”

Briefing the media today, Women and Social Affairs Minister, Ergogie Tesfaye noted that the African Youth Month will be celebrated in Ethiopia for the coming four weeks in various events starting from Tuesday, November 1, 2022.

The month will be celebrated in Arbaminch, Assossa, Gabmella and Dire Dawa cities with various events, she added.

The celebration aims to honor the contribution of the youth in social, economic and political affairs of the country.

Noting 76 percent of African population is youth, the minister stressed the need to give a great deal of attention to ensuring their benefits by involving them in the leadership as they are capable in all aspects.

“African Youth Month” has been celebrated since 2006 in Africa, she pointed out; stating that Ethiopia celebrates this year’s ‘’African Youth Month ’’ for the 16th times.

The month is also being celebrated at continental level under the banner: “Breaking the Barriers to Meaningful Youth Participation and Advocacy!”

 

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

OCHA Working to Supply Humanitarian Support to Liberated Areas of Tigray Region

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has been trying to cope up with facilities as situations in the northern part flared up since the end of August, 2022, Country Director Michel Saad said.

In an exclusive interview with in ENA in related to the situation, Saad said OCHA has been trying to cope up with the situation as facilities in the northern part flared up since the end of August, 2022.

He added that they (OCHA) have seen a high number of displacements especially in the beginning to the end of September where the situation on the ground in terms of hostilities started changing and from early October, some people started to return by their own or with the help of humanitarian partners to their town of origin.

OCHA and other partners are working very hard in several parts of Afar and within Tigray region in the main hubs and in smaller town from Shirie to Mekelle, he said.

“We maintained the presence in Shirie, Mekelle and Aksum and other town all throughout. Now of course, we had to keep what we call critical staff those who are only doing lifesaving interventions. We did welcome very much the announcement by the government like opening the arms and calling for support into the areas that are very difficult to reach for some time,” Saad noted.

It is noted that Government Communication Service issued a statement that the government will coordinate with the relevant humanitarian agencies to provide humanitarian aid to areas that have come under the control of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), including via the Shire Airport.

The country director further said that the organization has been in discussion with the federal and regional government level as well as zonal administrators on how to scale up such sorts of activities.

“We have started one assessment mission this week toward the areas of Raya Kobo-to Alamata and hopefully this will lead after some more support. This week we will start another assessment from Adi Arkay to Maitsebri and another one from Humera all the way toward approaching to Shirie. I think this will be the first step and for the second step we will be discussing with the federal government to see how we can be able to support also those staying in Shirie, Shiraro or other areas.

”He also explained that within each region colleagues have been working very hard to attain the need of people. But now, we are able to may be move into some areas that are difficult to reach before. It is very important for us for humanitarian operators and organizations to have a direct contact with officials in charge of operations to explain what we are trying to do, he said.

The country director also pointed out that OCHA is aiming to go and identify the priorities currently on the ground with authorities in areas where they have not been yet and together we will able to implement humanitarian activities.

The office is trying to highlight all the humanitarian need wherever they are and link up with humanitarian partners and government partners, he added.

“We have humanitarian response plan which is launched every year basis. For this year initially, we prepared a plan on January, we have asked about three billion USD to cover the needs of all people in Ethiopia in need of humanitarian assistance,” he said.

Saad said that from the required 3 billion USD, we have so far managed to secure 1.4 billion USD which is in absolute good, where the gap to reach all the required humanitarian interventions is significant.

It is to be recalled that the Government of Ethiopia has established national committee to facilitate humanitarian assistance to urban areas and towns in Tigray where the Ethiopian National Defense Force(ENDF) has liberated. It is also noted that the ENDF distributed food items that had been hidden for the terrorist militants to the public.

In its recent statement the Government Communication Service said that the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) has taken control of major urban centers in Tigray and said the Government of Ethiopia is working in coordination with humanitarian agencies to continue providing humanitarian aid in these areas.

 

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

Ethiopia, Tigray peace talks continue in South Africa

The Ethiopian peace talks in South Africa – which had been widely expected to end on Sunday Oct 30 – continued into Monday, sources said.

It was not clear how well the discussions between the warring parties, the Ethiopian federal government and the Tigray government were progressing.

Formal talks after two years of war between the Ethiopian federal forces and the northern region of Tigray opened in South Africa on Oct 25.

The African Union, as mediator, is aiming to broker an end to the conflict, which has killed thousands and displaced millions, placing a large section of the population on the brink of famine.

The talks come at a time when Ethiopian government forces and allied troops from neighbouring Eritrea have started to take some urban parts of Tigray province. Intensified fighting in the past two months has raised fears about the possibility of mounting civilian casualties.

The discussions are being facilitated by AU representative Olusegun Obasanjo, who is the former Nigerian president. He is being supported by Kenya’s former president Uhuru Kenyatta and South Africa’s fomer vice-president, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

The US has urged the delegations to engage seriously in these talks to reach a lasting resolution to the conflict, saying it is essential to achieve an immediate cessation of hostilities.

Meanwhile, a new report by UNICEF says since fighting resumed in late August in Northern Ethiopia, approximately 574,000 people have been additionally displaced in conflict affected Afar, Amhara, and Tigray regions.

According to the report the total number of people in need of humanitarian assistance throughout Ethiopia stands at 29.7 million out of whom 12.5 million are children.

In the most affected Tigray region, due to “continued airstrikes and shelling on multiple fronts, more than 210,000 people have been newly displaced since the resumption of fighting in late August”, the report added.

Additional 163,709 people in Afar, in conflict-affected zones bordering Tigray have been displaced as of Sept 30, while more than 200,000 people in Amhara, in North Wollo and Wag Hemra zones have also been newly displaced according to the report.

In Tigray “there was an approximately 84 percent reduction in the number of children and pregnant and lactating women (PLW) accessing primary healthcare services from August to September” the report says.

In North Wollo, North and West Gondar, and Wag Hemra zones of the Amhara region, where 625 schools are closed due to the renewed conflict, more than 500,000 children have been left without access to education UNICEF said.

Despite constraints the organization said it has supported the provision of primary health care services to 23,062 children and women in Tigray, Afar and Amhara.

UNICEF’s latest report comes amid growing international calls for immediate cessation of hostilities and resumption of delivery of much needed humanitarian aid to avert the looming crisis.

 

 

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Peace Talks on Ethiopia’s Tigray Conflict Are Extended

NAIROBI — Peace talks between warring sides on Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict have been extended into Monday.

An official familiar with the arrangements for the talks confirms that discussions continue in South Africa between Ethiopia’s federal government and representatives from the northern Tigray region.

The African Union-led talks seek a cessation of hostilities in a war that the United States asserts has killed up to hundreds of thousands of people, an estimate made by some academics and health workers.

The first formal peace talks began last week, and South Africa’s government had said they would end Sunday. Representatives of the warring sides have not responded to questions.

Neighboring Eritrea, whose forces are fighting alongside Ethiopian ones, is not a party to the talks, and it is not clear whether the deeply repressive country will respect any agreement reached. Witnesses have told the AP that Eritreans were killing civilians even after the talks began.

 

 

Source: Voice of America

Some Western Media Unwilling to Report TPLF Defeat, Reality in Ethiopia: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The silence of some Western media indicates their unwillingness to report the reality in Ethiopia and their vested interest to rescue the defeated terrorist TPLF, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Briefing the media today, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dina Mufti said Ethiopia is dismayed by the usual practices of these media as they do not want to cover the right thing at the right time.

He noted that the media outlets did not show any interest in reporting the devastations caused by the TPLF in the Amhara and Afar regions.

This is what they were doing before and they are repeating now to execute the interest of their owners, the spokesperson stressed.

“There is no chance that they will accept the defeat of this group, but their direction is to save this group from extinction,” Dina stated.

In his weekly briefing, the spokesperson also mentioned the visit of President Sahle-Work Zewde to  Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon and Angola where she met presidents of the three countries and held discussions about strengthening bilateral relations.

According to him, the leaders of the countries have reaffirmed their support for Ethiopia.

Ethiopian communities in the countries were briefed about the current situation in Ethiopia by the president, it was learned.

The spokesperson also highlighted the visit of PM Abiy Ahmed to Turkey where he met with President Tayyip Erdogan and discussed wide-ranging of issues of common interest.

Deputy PM and Foreign Affairs Minister Demeke Mekonnen had a visit to South Sudan and held discussion with Salva  Kiir  Mayardit about strengthening bilateral ties.

During the discussion, the president has reiterated the unwavering support of South Sudan’s for Ethiopia, the trust and confidence of his country in the wisdom and capacity of the Ethiopian leadership in overcoming internal problems.

Dina further said various achievements have also been obtained during the week in telling the reality of Ethiopia through various engagements.

 

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

TPLF Trojan Horse of West to Destabilize Ethiopia, Horn of Africa: Senior Somali Diplomat

A senior Somali diplomat said terrorist TPLF is a Trojan horse of the US and its Western allies to destabilize Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, the senior Somali diplomat Professor Shafic Yusuf Omar revealed that the terrorist TPLF group used to interfere in the internal affairs of many neighboring states, including Somalia, when it was in power.

“Western countries have been supporting the TPLF because the group is a Trojan Horse that benefits them not only in Ethiopia but also in the East African region. For instance, TPLF used to interfere in my country, Somalia, both militarily and politically. It used to meddle even  in the election of the country,” he noted.

The diplomat at Somalia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that the removal of TPLF from power   by the unprecedented civil disobedience in Ethiopia has contributed for the relative improvement of peace in Somalia and a better diplomatic ties with Ethiopia.

“Now we are strengthening ties with Ethiopia and opening our eyes for more diplomatic, political and economical partnership,” he said.

According to him, the US and some Western countries have been giving all the necessary support to the terrorist TPLF that provoked and carried the was in the northern part of the country.

The group is instrumental in creating enmities among countries in the Horn of Africa region.

“TPLF is a proxy war agent from the West assigned to not only destabilize Ethiopia but also East Africa. They are not fighting for Ethiopia. Had they been fighting for Ethiopia, they wouldn’t have destroyed churches, schools and other critical infrastructures in the Amhara and Afar regions they had occupied? For me, this is unacceptable by any means. TPLF is here to fulfill only what the West wants.”

Explaining the motives of the pressure and the ongoing media intimidation against Ethiopia, Professor Omar pointed out that this is due to the leadership under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed which is seeking strong political and economic integration in the region.

This attempt for integration seemed to create discomfort in the foreign powers and they are demanding the creation of a puppet leadership in Ethiopia, he added.

“I think the Western powers have been intensifying their pressure because they do not want to see the attempt of IGAD member countries to integrate and get transformed into a regional power that would enable Africans to make decisions to control their destiny.”

However, Ethiopians at home and abroad are taking big steps to thwart the orchestrated war and the tremendous pressures on their country, the senior diplomat noted.

“The good news is Ethiopians are doing a good job. Especially, the diaspora have been taking big steps that could be exemplary in the modern neo-colonial struggle against the Western powers. I think this is a great step for the unity of Ethiopia.”

Professor Omar particularly appreciated the #NoMore movement which has brought about tangible results that enable the entire world to realize the orchestrated conspiracies of the West and the baleful narratives against Ethiopia.

 

Source: Ethiopia News Agency