UN Human Rights Briefing by Liz Throssell on Ethiopia report
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UN Human Rights Briefing by Liz Throssell on Ethiopia report

The High Commissioner urges the parties to the conflict to halt ongoing hostilities and to resolve difference through peaceful means. It is essential that the authorities take all feasible steps to protect civilians, prevent further violations, and ensure there are full investigations to bring those responsible to justice,” spokesperson Liz Throssell said at the biweekly press briefing in Geneva.

 

The UN Human Rights Office issued an update analyzing the human rights situation across Ethiopia from January 2023 to January 2024.  

 

“Now, some of the points in this update include. Violent conflicts, particularly in the Amhara and Oromia regions, led to serious human rights violations and abuses in 2023, the update says. In the northern Tigray region, there was a significant improvement in the human rights situation following the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement in November 2022, but concerns persist regarding ongoing violations by members of the Eritrean Defence Forces,” she said.

 

In 2023, at least 1,351 civilians were killed in Ethiopia in attacks reportedly carried out by Government forces, Eritrean troops, anti-Government militias and some unknown actors. Of the civilians killed, 740 were in Amhara.

 

“The use of unmanned aerial vehicles by Government forces resulted in 248 civilian deaths between 4 August and 31 December 2023, and destroyed vital infrastructure, including schools and hospitals, raising concerns about the extent of compliance of these strikes with international law,” Throssell added. 

 

Overall, the update records 594 incidents of human rights violations and abuses affecting 8,253 victims – a 56 per cent increase compared with 2022. According to the update, State actors were reportedly responsible for some 70 per cent of the violations, while non-State actors accounted for some 22 per cent.

  

The High Commissioner welcomed the fact that the State of Emergency, which expires on 3 June this year, had not been extended.  

 

Now we are urging the authorities to release immediately those detained under the former State of Emergency, if they have not been charged under currently valid law and tried promptly and fairly. Those who have not been charged should also be released immediately,” said Throssell.

 

The update acknowledges the Ethiopian Government’s efforts to promote transitional justice and prevent violence against women and children, as well as its openness to engage in dialogue to resolve the fighting in the Amhara region.

Such progressive measures require sustained commitment, the update notes.

 

While the update covers the period from January 2023 to January 2024, Throssell said that the UN Human Rights Office continues to monitor developments.

 

The situation in Amhara and Oromia regions remains worrying, with ongoing fighting between Government forces against Amhara militia-Fano and the Oromo Liberation Army respectively,she said.

 

Now one of the points in the update is that progress on accountability for human rights violations and abuses linked to conflicts has been limited despite repeated commitments by the Government.  It is clear that if grievances are not addressed and accountability not pursued, the risk increases of further conflict,” Throssell stressed.

Among the update’s recommendations is the implementation of a comprehensive, inclusive and participatory transitional justice process.

 

 To read the full report, click here: https://www.ohchr.org/en/documents/country-reports/ohchr-update-human-rights-situation-ethiopia-2023

 

ENDS

 

For more information and media requests, please contact: 

In Geneva

Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / ravina.shamdasani@un.org or 

Liz Throssell - + 41 22 917 9296 / elizabeth.throssell@un.org or 

Jeremy Laurence -  +41 22 917 9383 / jeremy.laurence@un.org

 

 

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STORY:  UN Human Rights Spokesperson Liz Throssell on need for sustained efforts to halt violations and abuses Ethiopia

TRT: 02:25

SOURCE: UNOG / OHCHR
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: English/NATS
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 
DATELINE:  14 JUNE 2024 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
 

 

SHOTLIST 

1.     Exterior shots: Palais des Nations

2.     SOUNDBITE (English)—Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): The High Commissioner urges the parties to the conflict to halt ongoing hostilities and to resolve difference through peaceful means. It is essential that the authorities take all feasible steps to protect civilians, prevent further violations, and ensure there are full investigations to bring those responsible to justice.”

3.     Cut aways: briefing room

4.     SOUNDBITE (English)—Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): “Now, some of the points in this update include. Violent conflicts, particularly in the Amhara and Oromia regions, led to serious human rights violations and abuses in 2023, the update says. In the northern Tigray region, there was a significant improvement in the human rights situation following the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement in November 2022, but concerns persist regarding ongoing violations by members of the Eritrean Defence Forces.”

5.     Cut aways: briefing room

6.     SOUNDBITE (English)—Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): “The use of unmanned aerial vehicles by Government forces resulted in 248 civilian deaths between 4 August and 31 December 2023, and destroyed vital infrastructure, including schools and hospitals, raising concerns about the extent of compliance of these strikes with international law.”

7.     Cut aways: briefing room

8.     SOUNDBITE (English)—Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): Now we are urging the authorities to release immediately those detained under the former State of Emergency, if they have not been charged under currently valid law and tried promptly and fairly. Those who have not been charged should also be released immediately.”

9.     Cut aways: briefing room

10.  SOUNDBITE (English)—Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): The situation in Amhara and Oromia regions remains worrying, with ongoing fighting between Government forces against Amhara militia-Fano and the Oromo Liberation Army respectively.”

11.  Cut aways: briefing room

12.  SOUNDBITE (English)—Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): Now one of the points in the update is that progress on accountability for human rights violations and abuses linked to conflicts has been limited despite repeated commitments by the Government.  It is clear that if grievances are not addressed and accountability not pursued, the risk increases of further conflict.”

13.  Cut aways: briefing room


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