News: Rights Group urges Tigray admin to address joblessness crisis among former security personnel

Mebrhi Brhane, deputy director of Human Rights First Ethiopia

Addis Abeba – Human Rights First Ethiopia, a local human rights group, has called on the Tigray regional government to take urgent measures to address the plight of hundreds of individuals of Tigray origin. These individuals, formerly employed in Tigray regional security institutions, find themselves unemployed a year after the Pretoria Peace Agreement.

Despite years of dedicated service, these individuals were abruptly terminated, plunging them and their families into financial hardship. Human Rights First Ethiopia disclosed its investigation findings during a press conference yesterday, spanning back to the onset of the Tigray war in November 2020. The inquiry revealed that law enforcement personnel who previously served under the Tigray Police Commission were unjustly denied the opportunity to resume their official duties without lawful justification.

Mebrhi Brhane, deputy director of Human Rights First Ethiopia, emphasized a troubling pattern of behavior that has left these individuals in a state of limbo, unable to work and support themselves and their families.

The report highlighted the distressing revelation that these individuals have been denied their rightful salaries, a situation persisting to this day. The withholding of salaries appears to be connected to their alleged failure to participate in the conflict, a claim lacking substantiated evidence, according to the organization.

In a statement to Addis Standard, Mebrhi underscored the imperative for all relevant authorities to uphold human rights and reinstate individuals to their previous responsibilities. He urged caution to prevent the recurrence of rights violations against any citizen.

The appeal from Human Rights First Ethiopia stresses the urgency of promptly addressing this concerning issue, emphasizing the fundamental rights of these officers to fair treatment and lawful reinstatement of employment.

According to the organization, over 1,000 former members of the Tigray police force have jointly submitted petitions, seeking reinstatement to their positions and the rightful disbursement of withheld salaries. These petitions have been formally directed to the Regional Police Commission, highlighting their sincere appeal to regain employment and receive the compensation owed to them.

The organization also revealed that many law enforcement personnel of Tigray origin, previously serving under federal and Addis Ababa police institutions, have been unjustly prevented from resuming their official duties despite continuing to receive their salaries. AS

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