ADDIS ABABA – The government rejected the report by UN’s Experts of human rights Commission on Ethiopia or ICHREE, calling it “incomplete, incoherent and unsubstantiated” and intended to demonize the East African nation.
The government, it says in response, “regrets the hasty, substandard, and agenda-driven pathway the ICHREE, chose to discharge its responsibility”.
The report says human rights violations have been committed by all sides since fighting erupted in November 2020.
It, however, went on to highlight what it called credible information of large-scale killings committed by the rebel group in Tigray.
Addressing the UN Human Rights Council Thursday, Ethiopia’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Zenebe Bekele said his country has been the subject of unfair and biased scrutiny at the Council for more than a year now.
“The activities around this Council seem to be driven by a politically motivated and slanted narrative,” said Ambassador Zenebe.
“Such misguided campaign against Ethiopia must stop at a time when the government of Ethiopia is implementing the recommendations of the joint investigation team”.
The Council set up the ICHREE last year to probe the same issue that was already investigated by a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of the UN Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.
Ambassador Zenebe said the commission, “founded on a series of erroneous premises”, produced a report of substandard quality, with unsubstantiated allegations, and it had not met the standard of proof for such investigations.
The Report “makes grave accusations against the Government and its armed forces without adducing proof, just based on telephone conversations and web-based submissions,” he said. “This is irresponsible.”
The commission issued the report nearly a month after the start of another round of war in northern Ethiopia. Authorities accused the rebel Tigray forces of launching the attack that ended the five-month-long humanitarian truce.
“The TPLF blatantly violated the humanitarian truce, reigniting the conflict… It stole fuel destined for the delivery of humanitarian aid,” Ambassador Zenebe said.
“It is absurd that the Commission tries to make the Government sound like the culprit in this scenario.”
According to the ambassador, the Commission could have investigated atrocities committed by the TPLF in the Amhara and Afar regions,
“However, it only made fleeting references. It has also completely overlooked the use of child soldiers and the violent and forced recruitment of fighters by the TPLF, including in refugee camps in neighboring countries,” Zenebe said.
“This calls into question the Commission’s ability to shoulder this task objectively and impartially.”
Its “political pronouncements referring to the UN Security Council are ultra-virus and betray political motivations that go beyond human rights,” he added.
The Ambassador called on the members of the council to reject the report and any attempt to extend the mandate of the commission.