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News: Ethiopian gov’t strongly criticizes UN adviser’s remarks on current situation

Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian government has strongly criticized a recent statement made by Alice Wairimu Nderitu, the Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, labeling her remarks on the situation in Ethiopia as “irresponsible and reckless.”

The statement, issued on October 11, 2023, by the Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the United Nations under the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expresses the government’s reservations regarding Nderitu’s comments, which heavily relied on the report by the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHR-EE). According to the government, the ICHR-EE report lacked proper on-the-ground investigation and relied on unreliable and remote sources, raising doubts about the accuracy and reliability of the findings.

Furthermore, the Ethiopian government expressed disappointment in Nderitu, who is entrusted with the crucial mandate of preventing genocide, for making unsubstantiated allegations and inflammatory remarks.

The government’s statement also objected to Nderitu characterizing the Pretoria Peace Agreement, initiated in November 2022 between the federal government and Tigrayan authorities, as “largely failed” in quelling hostilities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs insisted that the peace process, facilitated by the African Union, and the subsequent ceasefire monitoring have been effectively implemented.

The government’s statement strongly urged Nderitu to retract her inaccurate portrayal of Ethiopia’s human rights situation and her assessment of the alleged failure of the Tigray ceasefire. The Ministry emphasized Ethiopia’s commitment to transitional justice, national dialogue, and the rehabilitation of conflict-affected communities. It also appealed to the international community to support reconstruction efforts in the country.

In her initial statement on October 10, 2023, Nderitu warned of heightened risks of genocide and related atrocities due to escalating conflicts between government forces and local militias in the Amhara and Oromia regions. She described these conflicts as “deeply disturbing.”

Nderitu also criticized the Pretoria Peace Agreement, claiming it had largely failed to curb hostilities in the Tigray region. She highlighted risk factors for genocide and atrocities in Ethiopia and called upon the international community to address the situation. Additionally, she referenced the recent report by ICHR-EE, which revealed ongoing atrocities throughout the country.

Concluding her statement, Nderitu called for an immediate end to the widespread violations committed by all parties since November 2020, emphasizing the importance of accountability to address the ongoing instability in Ethiopia. AS

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