UN Human Rights Council appoints former ICC prosecutor to lead Ethiopia investigation
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UN Human Rights Council appoints former ICC prosecutor to lead Ethiopia investigation

The United Nations Human Rights Council announced Wednesday the appointment of the former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, to lead the investigation into abuses in Ethiopia.

The President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Federico Villegas, announced the appointment of three international experts to serve as the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia. Ms. Bensouda was appointed to serve as Chair of the three-person Commission, accompanying members Kaari Betty Murungi of Kenya and Steven Ratner of the United States.

Fatou Bensouda is a Gambian legal adviser who became the first woman and first African to serve as the Prosecutor of the ICC when she was elected in 2011. Ms. Bensouda went on to serve as Prosecutor of the ICC for 10 years between June 2012 to June 2021. Prior to this, she previously held the position of ICC Deputy Prosecutor from 2004 to 2012.

The Human Rights Council voted on December 17 last year to establish an investigative commission to report on and investigate allegations of violations and abuses during the year-old war in Ethiopia through resolution S-33/1.

In its announcement of the appointment, the UNHRC described that the three-person commission was also asked to:

Establish the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged violations and abuses, collect and preserve evidence, to identify those responsible, where possible, and to make such information accessible and usable in support of ongoing and future accountability efforts

Together the commission will brief the HRC at its 50th session mid-year and present a written report of their findings at its 51st session at the end of the year.