You are currently viewing News: Ministry of justice establishes inter ministerial task force to oversee investigation, legal action against human rights violations in northern Ethiopia conflict

News: Ministry of justice establishes inter ministerial task force to oversee investigation, legal action against human rights violations in northern Ethiopia conflict

Gedion Timothios, Minister of Justice

Addis Abeba, November 30/2021- The Ministry of Justice announced the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Accountability and Redress of Violations Committed to oversee redress and accountability measures in response to human rights violations committed in the conflict in northern Ethiopia. It will have Four committees that will be chaired, respectively, by the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Peace, the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, and the Ministry of Finance, according to the statement.

Full Statement

The Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has set up an Inter-Ministerial Taskforce to oversee redress and accountability measures in response to human rights violations committed in the context of the conflict in northern Ethiopia. The Taskforce officially commenced its work on 29 November 2021 by adopting a comprehensive strategy and action plan for the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Joint Report of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The strategy and action plan cover all serious violations that have been committed in the context of the conflict, including those that have occurred in Afar and Amhara regional states after the unilateral ceasefire declared by the FDRE Government in June 2021.

To carry out its work, the Taskforce has established four committees that focus on Investigation and Prosecution, Refugees and IDP Affairs, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, and Resource Mobilization. The four Committees will be chaired, respectively, by the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Peace, the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, and the Ministry of Finance. The Taskforce has also decided to establish a secretariat that will facilitate, monitor and coordinate the day-to-day function of the Taskforce and its committees. The Taskforce has directed the Committee on Investigations and Prosecutions to operationalize a specialized joint civil-military investigative and prosecutorial unit with the requisite operational autonomy to ensure accountability through a transparent and robust legal process. The Taskforce has directed all committees to adopt a victim-centred approach, focusing on the rights of victims to know the truth, to seek and secure redress, and the need to implement programs of rehabilitation, restitution, and compensation to the extent resources permit. 

The Taskforce has also instructed the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to engage with relevant national and international human rights organizations to seek technical assistance and support in the form of capacity building to help it discharge its mandate effectively.

The Taskforce will regularly provide updates to the public concerning progress in the discharge of its responsibilities. Dispatch

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