UNHRC establishes commission to investigate international law violations in Ethiopia News
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UNHRC establishes commission to investigate international law violations in Ethiopia

In a special session held at the request of the European Union on Friday, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) voted on Friday to establish an international commission of human rights exerts on Ethiopia.

The main aim of the commission would be to conduct thorough investigation into allegations of violations and abuses of international human rights law, humanitarian law and refugee law in Ethiopia committed since November 3, 2020 by all parties to the conflict.

The resolution was brought by the European Union and supported by western states, and passed with 21 members in favour, 15 against and 11 abstentions. The Ethiopian government resisted the formation of the commission and said in a statement that it will not cooperate because it was imposed on them without consent.

UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif, released a statement explaining that the decision was based on escalating violence on all sides of the conflict which initially started in Tigray last year but has since spread to other areas of the country.

The region is experiencing acute food insecurity. In June, the OCHA estimated that at least 400,000 people in Tigray were living in famine like conditions. The conflict has forced at least 2 million people to leave their homes and there are concerns that refugee seekers are not receiving adequate care. In addition, the national emergency declared in November has led to mass arrests and detentions of thousands of Ethiopians, including the UN staff and at least fourteen journalists.

In light of these atrocities, the newly formed commission has been established to investigate potential war crimes and violations of international law, engage with all the relevant stakeholders in the region and provide guidance on transitional justice to support accountability, reconciliation and healing.