Ethiopia News: ICHIREE Publishes Conclusive Report Ahead of Conclusion, Urges Global Awareness Regarding Ethiopia’s Conflict
Addis Abeba — The International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHIREE) has released its final report today, providing a detailed account of human rights violations committed during the two-year conflict prior to the termination of its mandate. The report highlights the occurrence of potential war crimes and crimes against humanity, with all parties implicated in these acts of violence against civilians since the start of the fighting in November 2020.
According to the report, Ethiopian federal forces, Eritrean troops, and allied regional militias are accused of carrying out systematic mass killings, widespread rape and sexual enslavement of women and girls, forced starvation, displacement, and arbitrary detentions of civilians. The report also reveals that Tigrayan forces have conducted their own campaign of killings, sexual violence, looting, and destruction, resulting in a “staggering scale and continuity of violence” against innocent civilians caught in the crossfire.
While acknowledging that the report’s findings may only scratch the surface of the true extent of the atrocities, the commission explains that it lacked sufficient time and resources to determine whether genocide or crimes of extermination had occurred. However, Mohamed Chande Othman, the commission chair, emphasizes the critical need for further investigations to establish factual evidence and legal accountability.
Commission expert Radhika Coomaraswamy expresses the belief that prospects for domestic accountability are slim, leaving victims desperately in need of regional and international action. Fellow expert Steven Ratner considers the premature termination of the commission’s work a significant setback for the victims, stressing the importance of continued efforts to address the situation.
Othman calls upon the international community not to forget the victims of the conflict. He urges for increased monitoring of conditions on the ground and the implementation of universal jurisdiction for prosecuting the perpetrators abroad. With the alarming risk of further crimes if left unchecked, the commission asserts that the release of its final report should not mark the end of the conversation. Othman underlines that justice and accountability are crucial for achieving sustainable peace.
Despite calls from major human rights organizations worldwide for an extension, the motion to prolong the mandate of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia was not renewed and expired on October 4th. In the weeks leading up to this deadline, commission members warned about the high likelihood of ongoing atrocities if independent investigations into human rights abuses were not conducted. They expressed deep concerns about the potential for additional crimes against civilians given the volatile situation in Ethiopia.
International human rights groups stress the essential role of the UN Human Rights Council in utilizing its mandate to prevent rights violations and respond to emergencies, such as the ones extensively documented in the commission’s latest report.