Addis Abeba — EHRC also said it has been "monitoring complaints of ethnic profiling of Tigrayan origin most notably manifested in forced leave from work and in stopping people from traveling overseas including on work mission, for medical treatment or studies."
In a statement it released today, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said that following the government's November 28 announcement of "the completion of the final phase and cessation of the military operation in Tigray Region and the outlines of next steps listed therein," it calls for the government to, among others, restore "telecommunications and provision of basic services," as well as allow "access to independent and transparent investigation into conducts of grave human rights violations."
EHRC said it took note of the statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister on 28th November 2020 announcing the completion of the final phase and cessation of the military operation in Tigray Region and the outlines of next steps listed therein."
EHRC also recalled its "previous advisories and communications on human rights concerns putting emphasis on the necessity of protecting civilians from harm, and in view of the current situation in Tigray Region, the Commission urges the Federal Government to be guided by its duty to respect and protect human rights throughout the subsequent steps of rehabilitation and redress."
Accordingly, EHRC called on the government to "urgently address" the following:
- Restoring of telecommunications and provision of basic services including health, water, electricity and other interrupted services including allowing access to humanitarian agencies supplies,
- The immediate setting up of the logistical and humanitarian infrastructure indispensable to allow re-connecting separated families, the relocation and return of displaced persons and refugees, as well as
- Allowing access to independent and transparent investigation into conducts of grave human rights violations and resulting humanitarian crisis to ensure accountability for all human rights violations, redress to victims as well as putting in place of credible and inclusive mechanisms of reconciliation and justice.
EHRC has also been monitoring complaints of ethnic profiling of Tigrayan origin most notably manifested in forced leave from work and in stopping people from traveling overseas including on work mission, for medical treatment or studies. EHRC is gravely concerned that while there is no government policy nor legal framework condoning ethnic profiling, security measures designed to apprehend certain suspected individuals overstepped their remit of application, thereby affecting a wider community. EHRC is further assured by relevant authorities of immediate measures to address this problem. EHRC therefore urges authorities, particularly airport security authorities, to immediately cease preventing any passenger from traveling without appropriate legal justification. EHRC will continue to monitor the situation.
"Ensuring the security and safety of civilians will depend as much on the confidence of people to return and resume their normal day to day activities as it does on reinstating law and order to the region," EHRC said, adding that the nationwide task of rebuilding and ensuring full redress/reparation (restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction (including the right to the truth), and guarantees of non-repetition) for victims of human rights violation, including with physical reconstruction of damaged infrastructure, is an arduous task which will require concerted action and immense resources. "This task, however difficult, is indispensable to build sustainable peace, and to restore trust between communities." Dispatch