Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian Ministry of Justice said the draft transitional justice policy would be made available for post-policy public review in November 2023.
In September, a team of 14 experts leading public consultations on transitional justice policy options, under the auspices of the ministry, said it has concluded the consultations which have been underway across the country since March 2023.
According to a statement released on Monday by the ministry of justice, the task of collecting inputs for the formulation of the policy by the team of experts has neared completion and that the team of experts will now focus on preparing a summary report on the main findings of the consultations and formulating the draft national transitional justice policy.
Both documents would be made available for the public and post-policy public engagements would be held on the draft policy in November 2023, it added.
Diving deep into the activities undertaken by the team of experts, the statement said that 47 regional and 8 national public consultation meetings were successfully held in 12 regions and the two city administrations. 216 law professors from 36 different universities have been actively engaged in these meetings, the statement added.
Furthermore, the statement conveyed that 60 carefully selected individuals with 99% attendance rate have taken part in each consultation meeting which it said were conducted based on principles of human rights and were victim centered. 60% of the participants were victims of human rights violations, whereas 40% were women, the statement noted, adding that special focus group discussions were held with victims and women, while the consultations have widely engaged refugees, IDPs, disabled people and children.
However, the statement admitted that the experts were forced to postpone five consultation forums due to unforeseen circumstances. It added, while the participants have unanimously agreed on the importance of transitional justice based solutions, some have voiced their concerns over its effectiveness as a result of continued conflicts and insecurities in different parts of the country and limitations with regard to the implementation of the policy.
According to the statement, the team of experts have been conducting the task guided by recommendations of the joint investigation by the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Pretoria peace deal reached between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF.
Article 10 (3) of the peace deal stipulates that “the Government of Ethiopia shall implement a comprehensive national transitional justice policy aimed at accountability, ascertaining the truth, redress for victims, reconciliation, and healing, consistent with the Constitution of FDRE and the African Union Transitional Justice Policy Framework. The transitional justice policy shall be developed with inputs from all stakeholders, and civil society groups through public consultations and formal national policy-making processes”. AS