The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) welcomes the Agreement for Lasting Peace and Cessation of Hostilities signed by the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front on November 2, 2022. This comes two years after the start of the conflict in Northern Ethiopia on November 3, 2020, and one year after the release of the Joint Investigation Report on Tigray (JIT) by EHRC and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on 3 November 2021, documenting gross violations of international human rights, humanitarian, and refugee law, committed by all parties to the conflict. The Parties in their joint statement have also acknowledged the extensive loss of lives and livelihoods caused by the conflict over the past two years.
EHRC further welcomes the undertaking by the Government of Ethiopia to expedite humanitarian assistance to civilians in need and the restoration of public services and rebuilding of infrastructure for all affected communities.
EHRC commends the agreement reached by the parties to adopt a Transitional Justice Policy Framework to ensure accountability, truth, reconciliation, and healing. EHRC recalls the recommendation in the JIT Report which calls for “a human right compliant, holistic, and victim-centered transitional justice mechanism for crimes committed during the Tigray conflict including accountability for past crimes.”
For sustainable and inclusive peace to be achieved, the adoption of a transitional justice policy should be preceded and informed by a nation-wide, genuine, consultative, inclusive, and victim-centred conversation. The inclusion of a diverse range of national actors including traditional and religious leaders, as well as the meaningful participation of women is necessary. The international community and partners should also support the Government of Ethiopia in setting up and/or strengthening a transitional justice mechanism, based on regional and international standards.
EHRC calls on civil society organisations, the media, traditional and religious leaders, all Ethiopians, the international community, the United Nations, the African Union and sub-regional organisations to support all efforts towards the full and effective implementation of the Agreement for Lasting Peace and Cessation of Hostilities, and to support all civilians in affected regions.
In line with its mandate to promote and protect human rights in Ethiopia, EHRC will continue to monitor the human rights situation of civilians in Northern Ethiopia despite challenges related to restricted access to affected areas, security concerns, and limited cooperation by local administration.