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News: Ethiopian rights watchdog urges peaceful conflict resolution anew

Daniel Bekele (PhD), Chief Commissioner of EHRC (Photo: Addis Standard)

Addis Abeba – In an official statement issued commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has reiterated its appeal for sustainable and peaceful resolutions to the ongoing conflicts in Ethiopia.

The EHRC has called upon authorities at all levels to engage in “transparent and inclusive processes” that guarantee enduring and sustainable solutions to violent conflicts. The Commission has cautioned that the repercussions of these conflicts, including displacement, hunger, and broader human rights violations, continue to be of great concern.

“The number of communities affected by displacement, hunger, and human rights violations due to violent conflict remains alarming,” the statement read.

While acknowledging some progress at regional and federal levels, the Commission expressed its concern over the number of communities impacted by conflict and displacement. It called on the government to strengthen partnerships with stakeholders to advance peacebuilding and transitional justice initiatives.

This entails the finalization of a proposed victim-centered transitional justice framework and the initiation of an inclusive national dialogue process compliant with human rights standards. The statement has underscored the significance of meaningful participation by women, who have disproportionately suffered from abuses, in these processes.

EHRC Chief Commissioner Daniel Bekele has reinforced this message, emphasizing in a tweet that the underlying values of the Universal Declaration continue to guide human rights efforts in Ethiopia.

Recent reports from the EHRC have detailed severe human rights abuses affecting civilians in the Amhara, Benishangul Gumuz, and Oromia regions. The Commission has documented attacks resulting in civilian deaths, displacement, harm to non-combatants, and property destruction.

EHRC-verified incidents include ethnic clashes in Amhara and militant raids in Benishangul Gumuz on 29 November, 2023. In mid-November, attacks in Oromia claimed dozens of civilian lives, with non-combatants predominantly targeted in homes and places of worship.

Daniel has urged officials to prioritize political solutions, transitional justice, and provisions facilitating the safe return of displaced persons while renewing calls for intervention to prevent further casualties. AS

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