Joint Amnesty Int’l, Human Rights Watch Report Contains Unacceptable Political Contents: DPM & FM

The joint report of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch about alleged crimes in Welkait has unacceptable political contents that went beyond the mandates of the organizations, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonen said.

The deputy premier, along with of Justice Minister Gedion Timothewos, briefed ambassadors and heads of international organizations on the current situation of the country last night.

Asked about the report, Demeke said “we are carefully examining the report as there are some politically motivated matters. Dealing with the internal matters and other issues are always up to the government and people of Ethiopia. We don’t accept such kinds of approaches and interference.”

According to him, the government is open and ready to examine and look at things to ensure accountability and do its level best in this regard.

Demeke also called for a joint investigation by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the UN Office of the High Commissioner on human rights in Amhara and Afar regions.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights had managed a joint investigation earlier, he noted, adding that “the government has already been inviting these bodies and working seriously on it.”

However, the deputy PM pointed out that Ethiopia has reservation over the decision of the UN Human Rights body to conduct another investigation. It only creates unnecessarily duplications of efforts and undermines domestic institutions, he stated.

“The establishment of a new mechanism at the international level creates unnecessary duplications of efforts and undermines our domestic institutions. Therefore, the Government of Ethiopia has expressed its reservation regarding the international commission of human right experts on Ethiopia established by the UN Human Right Commission.”

The decision also disregards Ethiopia’s willingness to implement the previous recommendations of the joint Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights investigation, Demeke elaborated.

Explaining about the flow of humanitarian assistance in conflict affected areas since the declaration of humanitarian truce by the government, he said the government is giving a practical response to the humanitarian crises.

“Humanitarian aid is a matter of human survival. It should not be confused with political differences and with any preconditions. With this firm humanitarian belief, the government recently declared indefinite humanitarian truce. We are determined to reach emergency aid to our people in Tigray and all other affected areas.”

Justice Minister, Gedion Timothewos said on his part an inter-ministerial taskforce has been established to oversee the implementation of the joint human rights abuses investigation in conflict areas.

The taskforce has made significant progress in a number of intervention issues based on the joint investigation’s recommendations, he added.

“There has been significant progress, particularly in relation to investigation and persecution. Some of the investigations in various localities….are well underway and quite advanced.”

Various investigation teams have also been deployed in many localities and they have received testimonies from over 10,430 witnesses during the past three months.

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

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