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Geneva-based int’l diplomatic community briefed on Ethiopia’s current initiatives on transitional justice

Addis Ababa, September 21, 2023 (FBC) – Ethiopian delegation briefed the international diplomatic corps, civil society organizations, and other relevant stakeholders based in Geneva, Switzerland, on ‘Public Consultations on Options and the Process of Designing a Transitional Justice Policy for Ethiopia’ on Wednesday at the United Nations HQ in Geneva.

Organized by the Permanent Mission of Ethiopia in Geneva on the sidelines of the 54th Session of the Human Rights Council, the event aims to update the community of states, CSOs, and other interested stakeholders in Geneva regarding Ethiopia’s current initiatives on transitional justice and next step measures in finalizing the policy design process.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Tsegab Kebebew, the Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the UN in Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland, outlined the measures the Government of Ethiopia has taken to consolidate peace in the country following the signing of the Pretoria Peace Agreement on 2nd November 2022.

He deplored that the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia—ICHREE has wrongly portrayed the content and process of the nationwide consultations on the options for the transitional justice process and accused Ethiopia of social issues that have nothing to do with the conflict.

Amb. Tsegab outlined that Ethiopia has high hopes for the upcoming transitional justice policy and its implementation.

On his part, Ambassador Minelik Alemu, Special Policy Advisor of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, who moderated the event, noted that the transitional justice policy is expected to address Ethiopia’s long-term needs for sustainable peace, democracy, justice, and accountability.

He stressed the importance of involving and guaranteeing justice for victims, ensuring accountability for violations of international law in the fields of human rights, humanitarian law, refugee law, and engaging in truth-telling, healing, and reconciliation within a broader framework of transitional justice.

On the other hand, Mr. Yesuf Jemaw, Director of International Cooperation on Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Justice of Ethiopia, gave a detailed account of the background and context of the national need for initiating a transitional justice and the establishment of an independent working group of experts which is mandated to spearhead the study, national consultations, and policy design process on transitional justice.

Whereas, Tadesse Kassa Woldetsadik, Chair of the Transitional Justice Working Group of Experts, presented on the extensive preparatory works undertaken by the team in the run up to the nationwide consultations, on substantive contents of transitional justice policy options document, and principles which the working group has implemented during the consultations to ensure compliance with international standards – including on victim participation and gender sensitivity approaches.

He also highlighted on the high turnout of the public in the process of the national consultations – which proves the public’s trust and aspiration.

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