Statement by H.E. Dr Gedion Timothewos at the 47th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

22 Jun 2021

Statement by H.E. Dr. Gedion Timothewos, Attorney General of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia at the 47th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council 

22 June 2021

 

[check against delivery]

Madam President,

Madam High Commissioner,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A little over two and half years ago, I had the privilege to address this Council when Ethiopia was reviewed at the 33rd UPR Working Group Session. The UPR process has afforded Ethiopia the opportunity to showcase to the world the significant political and legislative reforms introduced by a new administration since 2018.

At the time, many countries expressed their appreciation for our reform process. I would like to seize this opportunity to express the gratitude of the Government of Ethiopia for the continued support of our friends in the international community. I would also like to report to this Council that the reform has brought about progress on multiple fronts including in the protection and promotion of human rights.

However, just like any significant reform process in a complex environment, the reform efforts in Ethiopia have faced serious challenges. As we have continued pushing forward political and democratic reforms, we have encountered various challenges. One of these challenges was the desperate attempt by the TPLF, a terrorist group well known for committing serious human rights violations over the last three decades, to reclaim power through illegitimate, violent and unconstitutional means.

Since the reform began, the TPLF, unwilling to accept the new democratic dispensation in Ethiopia has engaged in various unlawful activities including acts of terrorism. While instigating deadly communal violence in different parts of the country, the TPLF has rebuffed the government’s repeated plea to resolve differences in a peaceful manner. The efforts of civil society and religious leaders, including traditional elders for peaceful dialogue were rejected time and again by the TPLF. Taking its reliance on violence to its logical end, the TPLF finally committed the most egregious crime by attacking the Ethiopian National Defense Force. This wanton act of aggression and treason posed a threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ethiopian state. The belligerence of the TPLF also posed a grave danger to the stability of the entire Horn of Africa region. Therefore, it was a duty incumbent upon the Government of Ethiopia to take appropriate measures against the illegal army of the TPLF and to restore lawful authority in the Tigray region.

Seven months after the successful conclusion of the law enforcement operation against the terrorist TPLF, the federal government has been working in collaboration with humanitarian actors to address the pressing needs of its citizens in the Tigray regional state.  Unfettered humanitarian access has been granted to humanitarian workers and rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts are underway with progress being made in restoring basic social and economic services. The Government of Ethiopia has also continued to engage with relevant humanitarian actors with a view to address any concerns they might have and difficulties they might face.

Madam President,

One of the objectives of the reforms being implemented by the Government of Ethiopia is ensuring compliance with obligations and duties under international human rights and humanitarian law. Following reports of alleged crimes and human rights violations committed in the Tigray region during the past few months, the Government of Ethiopia has committed itself to carrying out investigations to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice. This concrete commitment to ensuring accountability has been demonstrated by action. It has not just been a commitment of words but of deeds. So far charges have been pressed against more than sixty soldiers who have been suspected of killing civilians and engaging in acts of sexual violence.

The investigation into the atrocities committed by the TPLF militia in the town of Mikadra has been completed and the trial of the suspects will commence in the coming weeks.

Investigation into the crimes committed in the city of Axum are also being finalized. As the facts on the ground warrant, these investigations are being expanded in their scope by coordinating the efforts of the military justice system, regional law enforcement authorities and federal investigators and prosecutors. In addition to these efforts, a joint investigation team composed of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has already been deployed on the ground and has commenced its work.

These, Madam President, are testaments to the willingness and capability of the Ethiopian government to ensure accountability. Those who were involved in committing crimes will be brought to justice and will be punished to the full extent of the law. For these mechanisms of accountability to function properly, it is important for the international community to wait for the findings of the investigations which will be made public in due course. The Council needs to let justice run its course.  Premature and untimely resolutions in this Council’s Session would constitute undue interference with ongoing investigations. Interventions by the Council at this point in time serve no legitimate purpose while the investigations, including the joint investigation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights are proceeding smoothly. Such premature actions would only undermine the integrity of ongoing investigations and do nothing to advance the cause of human rights. To the contrary such efforts amount to politically motivated interference in ongoing investigations.  Ethiopia in this regard calls on the Council to support its efforts, particularly by providing the requisite time and space for the investigations to be completed.

Finally, I would like to assure this august gathering and the international community of Ethiopia’s commitment to continue its constructive engagement in the work of the Council and fulfill its obligations under international law to respect, protect and fulfill human rights.

I thank you.

—ENDS—

Latest News

Browse all
የኢ.ፌ.ዴ.ሪ. ኤምባሲ ለንደን የሚሸፍናቸው ሀገራት ነዋሪ ለሆናችሁ ሁለተኛ ትውልድ ኢትዮጵያውያን እና ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያውያን የቀረበ ታላቅ ሀገራዊ ጥሪ! ክቡር የኢ.ፌ.ዴ.ሪ. ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዶ/ር ዐቢይ አሕመድ ሁለተኛው ትውልድ የኢትዮጵያ ዳያስፖራዎች በሦስት ዙር ወደ ሀገራቸው በመግባት ኢትዮጵያን እንዲጎበኙ እና የባህል መሠረታቸውን እንዲያውቁ የቀረበውን ጥሪ በመቀበል የመጀመሪያው ዙር የጉዞ መርሃ ግብር የተጀመረ ሲሆን በዚህም በመላው ዓለም የሚገኙ በርካታ ኢትዮጵያውያን እና ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያውያን ወደ ሀገራቸው…
11 Jan 2024
Back To Your Origins
UK pledges to increase dev’t aid to 200 mln Euros Ethiopia and United Kingdom (UK) have finalized to ink the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to scale up the diplomatic ties to strategic partnership level, said Ethiopian Ambassador to UK. In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, Ethiopian Ambassador to the UK Teferi Melesse said that the activities are ongoing…
9 Jan 2024
Ethiopia-UK ties to enter ‘new era’
The Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in London wishes you a joyful holiday season and prosperous New Year.
31 Dec 2023
Happy New Year 2024!
we extend our warmest invitation to you for the highly anticipated 1st Dire International Technology Expo 2024. As an influential figure in the technology sector, your presence at this groundbreaking event would be highly valued. Date: Jan 24 to Jan 28 / 2024 Venue: Dire Dawa Youth Sports Center Website: http://www.direinttechexpo.com The first Dire International Technology Expo 2024 is poised…
27 Dec 2023
Dire International Tech Expo
22 Dec 2023
Festive Message from Ambassador Teferi Melesse Desta
በለንደን የኢ.ፌ.ዴ.ሪ ኤምባሲ አስተባባሪነት ከዩናይትድ ኪንግደም ከሚገኙ የንግድና ዘርፍ ማህበራት ጋር በመቀናጀት እ.ኤ.አ ከዲሴምበር 13-15/2023 ባዘጋጀው የልምድ ልውውጥ ፕሮግራም 11 አባላትን የያዘ የኢትዮጵያ ንግድና ዘርፍ ማህበራት ምክር ቤት የልዑካን ቡድን በለንደን ከተማ ከሚገኙ 3 የብሪታንያ የንግድ ምክር ቤቶች ጋር የልምድ ልውውጥና የትብብር ግንኙነት ውይይት አደረጉ፡፡ ሶስቱ የንግድ ም/ቤቶች የብሪቲሽ ንግድ ም/ቤት፤ የብርቲሽ-ኢትዮጵያ ንግድ ም/ቤትና የለንደን ንግድ ም/ቤት ናቸው። በሶስቱም መድረኮች…
15 Dec 2023
የኢትዮጵያ ንግድና ዘርፍ ማህበራት ምክር ቤት የልዑካን ቡድን የለንደን ቆይታ
7 Dec 2023
Notice
The main office of the Global Black History, Heritage, and Education Centre (GBHHEC) will be officially established in Addis Ababa on Friday, December 08, 2023. Lead by Ambassador Teferi Melesse, Ethiopian Ambassador to the United Kingdom and North Ireland, a delegation of founding board members of the Global Black History, Heritage, and Education Centre (GBHHEC) landed in Addis Ababa. Director…
6 Dec 2023
Ethiopia will remain the center of important historical, cultural, and diplomatic initiatives.
በኤፕሪል 1973 ወደ ዩናይትድ ኪንግደም በረራውን ቦይንግ 720-ቢ አውሮፕላን በመጠቀም በሳምንት ለሁለት ቀናት የጀመረው የኢትዮጵያ አየር መንገድ በአሁኑ ወቅት አጅግ ዘመናዊ የሆኑ ኤርባስ 350 እና ቢ787 ድሪምላይነር አውሮፕላኖችን በመጠቀም በሳምንት ለአስር ጊዜያት በቀጥታ በረራ እያካሄደ መሆኑ ተመልክቷል፡፡ በዚህም ከአስር ሺህ በላይ መንገደኞችን ወደ 60 አለም አቀፍ መዳረሻዎች እያጓጓዘ መሆኑን በዩናይትድ ኪንግደም እና አየርላንድ የአየር መንገዱ ጽ/ቤት አስታውቋል፡፡ በለንደን ሂትሮ እና…
23 Nov 2023
የኢትዮጵያ አየር መንገድ ወደ ዩናይትድ ኪንግደም የሚያደርገውን በረራ በሳምንት ወደ አስር ጊዜያት ማሳደጉን አስታወቀ፡፡
On the sidelines of the Global Food Security Summit the Ethiopian Ambassador to UK H.E. Ambassador Teferi Melesse Desta met with British International Investment and AgDevCo to discuss potential investment and collaboration in Ethiopia. The Ambassador commended the work done with EthioChicken and explained the robust potential Ethiopia has attract even more investment.
21 Nov 2023
Ambassador Teferi met with BII and AgDevCo
We are excited to announce the inaugural flight of Ethiopian Airlines from Addis Ababa to Gatwick Airport landed earlier today! This new route marks an important milestone in Ethiopian Airlines commitment to providing convenient and seamless travel options for passengers between the UK and Ethiopia. We look forward to welcoming you on board as we connect the vibrant city of…
21 Nov 2023
Ethiopian Airlines Started new route to London Gatwick Airport.
“We have no intention of threatening the sovereignty of any nation but we would like a rules based access to the Red Sea. Our request is to initiate discussions towards sustainable solutions.” “What we seek to accomplish as a nation requires clarity of thought. It also requires hard work on a daily basis. Although there are many issues contributing to…
14 Nov 2023
PM Abiy Ahmed Responds to MP’s