Publication

Joint letter to prematurely terminate the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry into the situation in the Tigray Region of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia (CoI)

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The undersigned organizations concerned by grave human rights violations and abuses committed in the conflict in northern Ethiopia, welcomed the May 2021 initiative2 of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) to establish the Commission of Inquiry to, among others, determine the underlying causes of the conflict, investigate violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and identify perpetrators for purposes of pursuing justice and accountability. Several of the undersigned civil society and human rights organizations submitted briefings and information to the Commission of Inquiry on the nature and scale of human rights violations and abuses committed by the parties to the conflict. It was encouraging to witness an African organization take the lead in establishing an independent body to investigate these violations and abuses. We are, therefore, shocked and perplexed by the decision to terminate the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry without publishing a report of its findings and recommendations. This decision contradicts the rationale behind the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry and the core values underpinning the work of the African Commission as set out in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 2020 Rules of Procedure. It sets a detrimental precedent for future investigative mandates into human rights violations across the continent.
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