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33 Civil Societies, Human Rights Organizations call on African Commission to reconsider its decision to terminate its inquiry, publish findings.

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In a joint letter issued today, 33 civil societies, and human rights organizations call on the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights to reconsider its decision to terminate the mandate of Commission of Inquiry into the Situation in Tigray.

“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.”, the letter underscored.

The civil societies and human rights organizations asked on the AU’s Human Right body to ensure that the commission concludes its mandate, “at least with a report of its findings and recommendations”.

“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.” the organization stated.

The letter noted the reasons brought by the commission to support its decision for termination are “not convincing”

“We believe that the African Commission’s decision mistakenly buys into the rhetoric provided by the Ethiopian government- a party to the conflict and accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity – to eschew justice and accountability.” It stated.

“The role of independent investigative mechanisms in ensuring justice, accountability, and redress is indispensable due to the complexities of investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of the temporal scope, elements of these serious crimes, and the alleged perpetrators, including a foreign army.”

The civil society, and human rights organizations warned the failure to investigate human rights violations in Tigrai would set a dangerous precedent for future investigative mandates into human rights violations across the continent.

It is to be recalled that the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights terminated the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry in January of this year “to support, once established, the transitional justice process [in Ethiopia] which will allow the consolidation of peace and reconciliation in the country and, on the basis of the principle of responsibility, will help the victims to obtain reparation.”

By Abel Tsgabu