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AU organ barred to unilaterally investigate alleged human rights violations in Tigray

Ethiopia has commanded the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) to immediately cease the process of investigating alleged…

Ethiopia has commanded the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) to immediately cease the process of investigating alleged violations of human rights in the Tigray region.Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Thursday in a statement, the Ethiopia, during the meeting of the African Peace and Security Council (AUPSC), held on 9th March 2021 at the Heads of State and Government level, has clearly expressed its willingness to engage the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to conduct a joint investigation into alleged human rights violations in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia during the law enforcement operation.

“It is, however, regrettable to note that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights made a unilateral announcement on the establishment of a “Commission of Inquiry” which is completely outside the scope of the invitation by the government and lacks legal basis,” the ministry’s statement has said.

While the Government of Ethiopia was engaged in good faith to facilitate the necessary conditions for the joint investigation, the unilateral announcement of ACHPR on establishing a “Commission of Inquiry” undermines the cooperative spirit and the ongoing efforts of the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to formalize the modalities of the stated investigation.

According to the statement, the move by commission was also inconsistent with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as the Rules of Procedure of the Commission itself.

There is still an opportunity to rectify this unfortunate and unhelpful step and engage in good faith in a joint investigation, the ministry added. 

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