By Theodore Jones –
Ethiopian government has established a taskforce to address human rights issues in Tigray.
The rights infractions were previously documented in a joint investigation report by local and UN rights bodies earlier this year.
In a statement released on Tuesday by the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Justice, the team, which is divided into multiple committees, is expected to use a “victim-centered approach.”
According to the Ministry, “the Interministerial taskforce [is] to monitor restitution and accountability measures in response to human rights violations in the context of the war in northern Ethiopia.”
The taskforce will be divided into four groups, with each tasked with investigating and prosecuting perpetrators, addressing refugees and internally displaced persons, sexual violence and gender-based violence, and mobilizing resources to repair destroyed infrastructure and livelihoods.
“The taskforce has directed all committees to adopt a victim-centred approach, focusing on the rights of the victims to know the truth, to seek and secure redress and the need to implement programmes of rehabilitation, restitution and compensation to the extent that resources permit,” the Ministry of Justice indicated.
The decision follows a report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which found that both the warring sides had committed atrocities, and there had been sexual violence, killings, displacements and damaged livelihoods, and lack of access to humanitarian aid.
The Ministry of Justice said it will work with local and international partners for technical assistance, but it was unclear if those investigations will reach the areas currently controlled by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).