Ethiopia Clarifies Position on Transitional Justice Mechanism to European Union Envoys
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Ethiopia Clarifies Position on Transitional Justice Mechanism to EU Envoys

ADDIS ABABA – Officials from Foreign and Justice ministries clarified Ethiopia’s stand on Transitional Justice Mechanism to Addia Ababa-based Ambassadors of European Union member states.

The two sides met today to discuss ways to collaborate on issues relating to human rights protection and accountability in the context of the northern Ethiopian conflict.

The Ethiopian federal army and the TPLF agreed to lay down their arms after they signed a cessation of hostilities agreement (CoHA) in Pretoria on November 2, 2022. A week later, the two parties inked another agreement that hammers out the details of the implementation frameworks.

Following the CoHA, the situation in the north has been improving with both sides taking positive confidence-building measures, according to a recent statement by the African Union that played a major role in brokering the peace deal.

Govt: Committed to Peace Deal

On Friday, Justice Minister Gedion Timotheos reiterated the government’s commitment to the implementation of the CoHA and subsequent agreement.

He also briefed the ambassadors about the contents of the document, ‘policy Options for Transitional Justice in Ethiopia’, which, he said, is prepared to address the current socio-political realities of the country based on accountability, truth-seeking, redress for victims, and reconciliation and healing.

The document was made public in order to gather input from all including civil society groups through public consultations and formal national policymaking processes, Gedion told the envoys.

He further invited the EU and its member states to enrich the document with expert opinions during the briefing he gave to the ambassadors along with State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mesganu Arga.

ICHREE Undermines Peace Process

State Minister Mesganu, on his part, expressed hope that today’s meeting with EU ambassadors will help both sides restore and strengthen relations.

Despite Ethiopia’s best efforts to ensure accountability, the EU opted to form an International Commission of Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE), as per the state minister.

This commission of experts overstepped its mandate by participating in politically motivated activities, Mesganu said.

He called for the ICHREE’s mandate to be terminated as it would undermine the Pretoria peace deal and ongoing cooperation between the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The conference ended with the ambassadors appreciating Ethiopia’s openness to cooperating with the EU on accountability issues and addressing their concerns that needed further clarification, according to the Ministry of Foreign affairs.