Internally displaced populations receive humanitarian assistance in Gedeo Zone after inter-communal violence in Gedeo-Guji zones displaced one million people in March 2018 (Photo IOM 2018 / Olivia Headon)

State-run Right Body Starts to Probe IDPs’ Cases

By Sisay Sahlu

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said it has dispatched teams of experts to look into the conditions of displaced people as well as the conditions of prisoners in several regions.

The investigations started two weeks ago and will conclude within 45 days, according to the commission.

Both are currently ongoing in seven selected areas of the country, said Eshet Gebre, deputy commissioner of EHRC, told The Monitor.

Southern Nation Nationalities and People (SNNP), Amhara, Oromia, Tigray, Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambella regional states are the subjects of the two investigations.

Regarding displaced people, the team will look into the conditions they are in and the process of repatriation, Eshete said.

Government plans to return all internally displaced persons to their areas of origin by the end of June.

Minister of Peace Muferiat Kamil told reporters on Saturday that the repatriation process will be conducted voluntarily.

She said the IDPs received food and non-food assistance in their temporary sites, with the government of Ethiopia covering 60 percent of the spending and donors contributing the remaining 40 percent.

About 1.3 million people have returned to their areas of origin over the past two months, said the Minister adding they will be provided with all the necessary rehabilitation support for the coming six months.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission the same teams dispatched to various regions will also look into how prisoners are treated in the detention centers.

Commissioner Eshet said some of the detention centers do not have a proper facility. “I witnessed in regions and even in the capital that this is the case,” he said.

The commission inquiries and the subsequent reports will guide the government’s decisions and help find long term solutions for challenges as well, the commissioner added.