A Week in the Horn 18.03.2022


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News in Brief





Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen confers with China’s Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa, Xue Bing





Ethiopia and China hold Second Bilateral Political Consultation





Updates on Humanitarian Assistance to the Tigray Region





EHRC: Violations in Afar and Amhara may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity





Ethiopia Participates in the 5th UN Environmental Assembly in Nairobi





Africa and the African Union





A three-day African Union Reflection Forum
on Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa opened on Tuesday
(March 15) in Accra, focusing on the finding solution in addressing the
resurgence of unconstitutional changes of government in Africa. The
Forum discussed different aspects of the phenomenon including triggers
for the resurgence of unconstitutional changes of government in Africa,
continental response mechanisms, shared perspectives on Africa’s
governance deficits, strengths and weaknesses of regional frameworks,
stakeholders’ responsibility in promoting effective governance, managing
complex political transitions arising out of military takeover, and
consolidated strategies and structured solutions to address
unconstitutional changes of government.





The Kingdom of Morocco last week on
Wednesday (March 09) signed the Revised Constitution of the African
Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) and the Memorandum of Implementation
(MoI) of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM). Currently, 35
AU Member States with a total population of more than 800 million
people, accounting for 61% of the population on the African continent
and 89% of intra-African air transport market have joined SAATM and have
opened up their markets to each other, removing restrictions in terms
of frequency, capacity and granting to each other traffic rights and
this will enable intra-African transport connectivity and support
improvement of trade and tourism.





Ethiopia





President
Sahle-Work Zewde bade farewell to the outgoing Ambassador of the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Ethiopia, Sami Jamil Abdullah. President
Sahle-Work and the Ambassador discussed the issue of Ethiopians in Saudi
Arabia, the preservation of their dignity, the repatriation plan to be
rolled out soon by the Ethiopian government. The President thanked the
ambassador for his contribution to enhance bilateral relationship
between the two countries during his stay in Ethiopia.





The First Congress of Prosperity Party last week on Saturday (March
12) elected Dr. Abiy Ahmed president, Adem Farah and Demeke Mekonnen
Vice Presidents. Following the election, PP President Abiy told the
congress that support in knowledge, labor and any other form is much
needed from the members, beyond the votes cast. “I appeal to you all for
support as much as you can so that we can fulfill the historic
opportunity given to us to sustain Ethiopia,” he said, adding that
“nothing can be changed without your hard work and struggle.” The
president finally expressed his hope that the members would proudly meet
at the next congress by registering successful work, if all support the
leadership.





Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen, received
at his office on Monday (March 15) China’s Special Envoy to the Horn of
Africa, Xue Bing and discussed bilateral and regional issues of common
concern. During the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister applauded the long-standing relationship between the two
countries and China’s multifaceted support to Ethiopia. In this regard,
he mentioned China’s support in multilateral fora that helped Ethiopia
thwart threats to its sovereignty and territorial integrity. (See article)





State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Ambassador Redwan
Hussien and Assistant Foreign Minister of China, Deng Li held on
Wednesday (March 16) the second Ethiopia-China political consultation
via teleconference. The two sides exchanged views on bilateral,
regional, and multilateral issues of common concern, further pledging to
strengthen their Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative partnership. (See article)





Government Communications Service Minister, Legesse Tulu (PhD) has
rejected the WHO’s allegation of blockage of transportation of medical
supplies to Tigray as baseless. Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros
Adhanom is violating the organization’s principles and values in issuing
groundless statements and orchestrating false accusations against the
government which is exerting efforts to address humanitarian needs in
Tigray, the Minister Noted. Contrary to the accusations of the WHOs
chief, a letter from the country office of WHO indicates that the
government of Ethiopia has already verified and cleared the
transportation of medical supplies and medicines to Tigray.





In a statement issued on Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of
Ethiopia said that the Federal Government of Ethiopia has been playing
constructive roles in facilitating the smooth movement of humanitarian
trucks along the Afar route to address the humanitarian needs of the
Tigray region. (See Statement)





A forum aimed to introduce opportunities in Ethiopia in
Agro-processing to investors in the United Arab Emirates was held in
Dubai on Wednesday (March 16). Deputy Head of Ethiopian Investment
Commission, Temesgen Tilahun, expounded on the efforts of the government
of Ethiopia in expanding investment opportunities in agro-processing.





Deputy Ambassador of Ethiopia to Russia, Cham Ugala discussed on
Wednesday (March 16) with Director General of the Coordinating Committee
for Economic Cooperation with African Countries (AFROCOM), Alexander V.
Kopkov on ways of enhancing trade ties between Ethiopia and Russia. The
Deputy Ambassador expressed concern over the conflict between Russia
and Ukraine, expressing Ethiopia’s interest in peaceful resolution for
the situation between the two countries.





The Minister of Water and Energy, Engineer Habtamu Itefa, met on
Wednesday (March 16) a delegation led by the World Bank East African
Country Director, Kate Hansen. The Minister highlighted the work being
done by the Ministry of Water and Energy in Water Supply and Sanitation,
Water Resources Management, and Renewable Energy Development sectors.
Habtamu told the delegation that Ethiopia is working to provide energy
access to all its citizens by 2030. Keith Hansen, for his part, praised
the ongoing work and said the World Bank is willing to support Ethiopia
and work together for the achievement of its goal which is energy access
to all its citizens.





Ethiopia’s Ambassador in Sudan, Ambassador Yibeltal Aemero had a
meeting over the week with the Interior Minister of Sudan,
Lieutenant-General Anan Hamed Mohammed Omar. The two sides discussed
ways to ease up regulations governing Ethiopians living in Sudan, while
providing expedited and friendly services to Ethiopians who chose to
return home.





Adem Mohamed Mahmud, Non-Resident Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the
Kyrgyz Republic presented his credential to Sadyr Zhaparov, President of
the Kyrgyz Republic on Tuesday (March 15). Sadyr Zhaparov, President of
the Kyrgyz Republic on his congratulatory remark underlined that Kyrgyz
Republic welcomes his appointment and looks forward to work in
collaboration on areas of mutual interest in order to advance common
national interest goals.





Ethiopian Investment Commission, the Ethiopian Embassy in Abu Dhabi,
and the Consulate in Dubai and the Northern Emirates have organized a
forum in Dubai on Tuesday and Wednesday (March 15,16) to promote
investment opportunities in the pharmaceutical and agro-processing
sector in Ethiopia.





Eritrea





Eritrean Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan, Mr. Yohannes
Teklemicael met and held talks with Mr. Mayiik Ayii Deng, on Tuesday
(March 15) Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Sudan, on strengthening
bilateral ties as well as regional developments. Indicating that the
Eritrean Government has a strong belief that the people of South Sudan
have the capacity of addressing their problems, Ambassador Yohannes
expressed Eritrea’s full support for the implementation of the peace
agreement. In their meeting, Ambassador Yohannes and Mr. Mayiik Ayii
Deng discussed economic programs to the benefit of the people of the two
countries. The two officials also discussed the responsibility and
rights of the Eritrean people residing in South Sudan in general and
that of Eritrean investors in particular. Mr. Mayiik Ayii Deng on his
part commended the support the people and Government of Eritrea are
extending to the people and Government of South Sudan. Ambassador
Yohannes also had a similar discussion with Mr. Deng Dua Deng, Deputy
Foreign Minister of the Republic of South Sudan.





Djibouti





The IGAD Centre of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent
Extremism (ICEPCVE) organized a three-day workshop in Djibouti from
March 15-17, 2022, on enhancing women’s strategic communication capacity
with the goal of developing alternative and counter-narratives to
prevent violent extremism in the Horn of Africa region. The workshop,
which brought together women from the IGAD region, acknowledged that
bolstering women’s participation is the first step in preventing violent
and extremist ideologies in communities.





Qatar’s Minister of Endowments (Awqaf) and Islamic Affairs Ghanem bin
Shaheen bin Ghanem al-Ghanem met with the visiting Djiboutian Minister
of Islamic Affairs, Culture and Endowments, Moamen Hassan Berri. The
meeting reviewed co-operation and exchanged views in the field of
Islamic Affairs.





Kenya





The Fifth Session of the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA
5.2) was held in Nairobi Kenya from 28th February to 2nd of March 2022
under the theme “strengthening actions for nature to achieve the
Sustainable Development Goals” and the commemoration of the fifth
anniversary of the establishment of the UN Environmental Program
(UNEP@50). (See article)





Somalia





Top African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Federal Government
of Somalia officials are meeting in Mogadishu as of Tuesday (March 15)
over the next five days to discuss modalities ahead of the new AU peace
support operation in Somalia. Effective April 1, AMISOM, which has
operated in Somalia since 2007, will be replaced by a new mission to be
called the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS). The
Mogadishu conference seeks to agree on various approaches to aid the
transition, as well as discuss operational plans for the new mission.
The Pentagon may add troops in Somalia to control the growing al-Shabaab
terrorist organization, the head of U.S. Africa Command told senators
on Tuesday (March 15). Gen. Stephen Townsend said that al-Shabaab, an Al
Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group in eastern Africa, is “among the
world’s fastest-growing, wealthiest, and deadliest terrorist groups”
that poses a threat to Americans, and that a U.S military presence
relegated to neighboring countries is insufficient to combat it.





Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia Mahdi
Mohammed Gulaid met with Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Somalia
Hassan Hamza Hashem. During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral
cooperation relations between the two countries. Gulaid expressed thanks
and gratitude to the State of Qatar for responding and providing urgent
relief assistance to those affected by the drought crisis that hit
large parts of Somali lands.





Sudan





President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, General, Abdel
Al-Fattah Al-Burhan left for Uganda on Thursday (March 17) for a one-day
official visit during which he will meet the Ugandan President, Yoweri
Museveni. Al-Burhan who is accompanied by the Acting Foreign Minister
Ambassador, Ali Al-Sadig, the Director of the National Intelligence
Service Lt. General -Ahmed Ibrahim Mofadal will review with President
Museveni the bilateral relations means for developing them further, the
regional and international issues of common interest and the challenges
facing the implementation of Juba Peace Agreement.





The Minister of Commerce and Industry Khalif Abdi Omar and Ethiopia’s
State Minister for Trade and Regional Integration, Denge Boru on
Wednesday (March 16) officially inauguated trade negotiations between
the two countries. The Ministers underscored the importance of the two
countries strengthening cooperation and pledged to commence negotiation
on cross border trade agreement with a view to benefitting the people
from both countries. The two ministries also deliberated and agreed to
negotiate and then sign a bilateral trade agreement that will bolster
the regional integration efforts including COMESA and African
Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).





The Army Chief of Staff, Lt-General Mohammed Osman Al-Hussein met in
Sudan on Wednesday (March 16), his Egyptian counterpart General Osama
Asaker in the context of the activities of the 8th meeting of the
Sudanese-Egyptian Military Committee which was held in Cairo. The
meeting reviewed a number of issues of mutual concern and the spheres of
cooperation between the two countries.





South Sudan





South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has appointed a new adviser for
peace. Kiir, in a presidential decree, read out on state-owned SSTV,
appointed Gen. David Reath Malual Luak to replace the former SPLA-IO
chief of general staff General Simon Gatwech. Luak’s nomination was in
accordance with the provision of the 2018 revitalized peace accord,
which permits the armed opposition faction to nominate someone as
presidential adviser for peace and reconciliation.





The Security Council on Tuesday (March 15) adopted a resolution to
renew the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
till March 15, 2023. Resolution 2625 decided to maintain the overall
force levels of UNMISS with a troop ceiling of 17,000 personnel and a
police ceiling of 2,101 personnel. It expressed the Security Council’s
readiness to consider adjustments to UNMISS force levels and
capacity-building tasks to match security conditions on the ground.





WFP warned on Monday (March 14) that more than 70 per cent of the
men, women and children in the country will struggle to survive the peak
of the lean season this year.  South Sudan is facing unprecedented
levels of food insecurity caused by conflict, climate shocks, COVID-19,
and rising costs.  WFP says that 8.3 million people in South Sudan —
including refugees — could face extreme hunger in the coming months. 
While providing critical food and nutrition assistance to meet the
immediate needs of populations at risk, WFP is also working to build
resilience to help communities cope with sudden shocks. 





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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen confers with China’s Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa, Xue Bing





Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen, received
at his office on Monday (March 15) China’s Special Envoy to the Horn of
Africa, Xue Bing and discussed bilateral and regional issues of common
concern. During the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister applauded the long-standing relationship between the two
countries and China’s multifaceted support to Ethiopia. In this regard,
he mentioned China’s support in multilateral fora that helped Ethiopia
thwart threats to its sovereignty and territorial integrity.





China’s constructive position on the GERD favoring the principle of
‘African Solution to African Problem’s and all the COVID-19 related
supports are also commendable, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister added.





Appreciating China’s commitment to development on the African
continent, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister requested
expedited approval of Ethiopia’s projects which were submitted under the
FOCAC framework.





The Deputy Prime Minister also gave a briefing on the encouraging
decisions taken by the government to ensure peace in the country and
Ethiopia’s commitment to resolving its border issue with Sudan in a
peaceful manner.





Special Envoy, Xue Bing, on his part, spoke about the Initiative for
Peaceful Development in the Horn of Africa that was proposed during
State Councillor Wang Yi’s visit to Africa. He said China wants to
support countries in the Horn to address the challenges of security,
development, and governance and pursue a path of unity and
self-improvement.





He mentioned efforts to enhance railway and port developments in the
region, commitments to the Belt and Road Initiative, and the FOCAC
agreements to accelerate regional revitalization through development. In
connection with this, the Special Envoy underscored that Ethiopia
should play a constructive role in promoting peace in the Horn of Africa
as it is an anchor state in the region.





Ethiopia and China elevated their relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership in May 2017.





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Ethiopia and China hold Second Bilateral Political Consultation





State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Ambassador Redwan
Hussien and Assistant Foreign Minister of China, Deng Li held on
Wednesday (March 16) the second Ethiopia-China political consultation
via teleconference. The two sides exchanged views on bilateral,
regional, and multilateral issues of common concern, further pledging to
strengthen their Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative partnership. The
meeting noted that frequent communications between Ethiopian and Chinese
High-level leaders, including the recent visit of State Councilor Wang
Yi to Ethiopia amidst a state of Emergency, demonstrate solid political
trust between the two countries.





Speaking on the anti-COVID 19 cooperation between the two countries,
Ambassador Redwan appreciated the multifaceted Chinese support,
expressing Ethiopia’s keen interest to co-produce the vaccine at home
with Chinese companies. Vice Minister Deng li, on his part, reiterated
the Chinese pledge to provide vaccines in millions of dozes and vowed to
encourage Chinese companies to produce the vaccine in collaboration
with Ethiopia.





The two sides mentioned the Addis Ababa Riverside and Road Projects,
including operation and maintenance of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway,
among others, as manifestations of commitments of the Ethiopian and
Chinese governments to promote practical cooperation between the two
countries. In connection with this, Ambassador Redwan appreciated
China’s plan to revitalize African economies as expressed in the
Dakar-held Forum on China–Africa Cooperation, further requesting China
to approve Ethiopia’s proposals to concretize the 9-point areas of
cooperation that the Chinese President had proposed at the forum.





In their discussion about the situation in Ethiopia, Ambassador
Redwan highlighted some of the measures taken by the government to
ensure peace, despite the TPLF’s continued provoking of neighboring
regions. Vice Minister Deng li said his country greatly appreciates the
Ethiopian government’s peace initiatives, underscoring his government’s
consistent position to solve the situation in Ethiopia through dialogue.





Discussing issues that need proper attention in the Horn of Africa,
Ambassador Redwan Hussien appreciated the efforts of the Government of
China to solve intra-state matters in the region amicably by sending one
of its notable diplomats as a special envoy to the region.  In
connection with this, he urged China to encourage the government of
Sudan to solve its border dispute with Ethiopia amicably, encourage
downstream states of the Nile to continue negotiating under the auspices
of the AU, while appreciating the Chinese proposal to support Ethiopia
to host a regional level peace conference that promotes peace and
stability in the region.





The two sides expressed their commitment to further cooperate in
international fora, mentioning vibrant cooperation between the two
rejecting unilateral sanctions in the UN Security Council and Human
Rights Commission’s sessions that threatened to compromise the
territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations under the pretext of
Human Rights violation.





Ambassador Redwan finally congratulated China for successfully
hosting the Winter Olympics and Assistant Foreign Minister Deng
expressed wishes to make the next political consultation in-person in
China.





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Updates on Humanitarian Assistance to the Tigray Region





The Federal Government of Ethiopia has been playing constructive
roles in facilitating the smooth movement of humanitarian trucks along
the Afar route to address the humanitarian needs of the Tigray region.





Accordingly, today (March 17/2022), twenty (20) trucks loaded with
food items and three (3) trucks carrying fuel tankers have started
moving from Semera to Mekelle. The number of trucks heading to Tigray on
a daily basis will soon be 40 to maximize humanitarian reach and
address basic needs in the region.





In addition, seventeen (17) humanitarian partners got approval to
transport medicine (including Vaccine) medical items and nutrition
supplies to the Tigray region as of March 16, 2022. In conformity with
the daily update on the cargo airlift from Addis Ababa to Mekelle, more
than eleven (11) partners have transported 257,192 kilograms of
medicine, medical items, and nutrition supplies.





To put the record straight, it has remained apparent that it was due
to renewed attacks in Afar that more than 700,000 people have been
displaced and the Humanitarian aid route to Tigray via Aba’ala had been
blocked. It’s also to be recalled that the attacks have been escalated
to five woredas of the Kilibeti Resu Zone of the Afar regional State and
displaced more than 300,000 people. It needs to be noted that 43 trucks
loaded with food items were also kept stranded at Serdo, 38 KM away
from Semera.





However, apart from the rigorous efforts and decisions made today,
the Government of Ethiopia, once again, reiterates its commitment to
address the humanitarian needs in the Tigray region through creating and
maximizing a conducive working environment for all partners and
boosting inland and air transport to the region.





The Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,
however, believes that no strings should be attached in protecting the
rights and satisfying the humanitarian needs of our people and expects a
similar commitment from all actors to let aid keep on flowing to the
people. The International Community also is expected to put adequate
weight on the matter to sufficiently address relevant concerns.





17 March 2022





Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia





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EHRC: Violations in Afar and Amhara may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity





The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has, on March 11, 2022,
published its 110 pages Report on Violations of Human Rights and
International Humanitarian Law in Afar and Amhara Regions of Ethiopia
conducted between September and December 2021. The report, following the
Tigray Forces military offensive and control of several areas in the
two regions, builds on the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and
the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR) Joint Investigation Report on alleged violations of human rights
in the Context of the Conflict in the Tigray Region(JIT) published on November 3, 2021.





Indiscriminate attacks and extrajudicial killings





In parts of Afar and Amhara Regions covered by this investigation,
the findings show the parties to the conflict mainly Tigray Forces and
allied militia (in some locations including the Oromo Liberation Army
(OLA)- aka “OLF-Shane”) carried out indiscriminate attacks on civilians
who are vulnerable in particular women, children, persons with
disabilities and older persons. These attacks on civilians and civilian
objects were committed in violation of the principles of distinction,
necessity, precaution, and proportionality.





By using civilians as human shields, conducting military operations
from civilian homes and in urban areas, the parties have caused civilian
deaths, physical injuries, and property destruction. Without including
the extrajudicial killings, at least 403 civilians have died and 309
have suffered minor to serious physical injuries as a result of acts of
violence in the context of the conflict.





At least another 346 civilians have been subjected to unlawful and
extra-judicial killing by parties to the conflict – mainly by Tigray
Forces. In areas which were under their control, OLF-Shane also
committed targeted killings of government officials and their family
members, and civilians they accused of supporting the government





Systematic sexual and gender based violence





Tigray Forces committed widespread, cruel, and systematic sexual and
gender-based violence including gang rape against women of different
ages-girls and elderly women in parts of Afar and Amhara regions under
their control. Tigray Forces committed these acts of sexual and
gender-based violence to demoralize, dehumanize and punish communities;
often indiscriminately and sometimes in a targeted manner. The attacks
were often perpetrated in a premeditated and cruel manner including
through gang rape, rape in front of family members of victims/survivors,
and insertion of foreign objects into the vagina.





Often times, these acts were committed with the knowledge of military
commanders and officials of the Tigray Forces who, despite pleas from
communities under their control, failed to take the necessary and
reasonable measures to stop violations and hold perpetrators to account.
The EHRC believes the information and evidence it gathered strongly
indicate a calculated and systematic use of Sexual and Gender Based
Violence (SGBV) (mostly indiscriminately but also selectively) for
warfare by Tigray Forces.





Arbitrary detentions, abductions and large scale looting





Tigray Forces engaged in arbitrary detentions, abductions, and
enforced disappearances in violation of human rights and humanitarian
laws that may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. They
also committed acts of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman, or
degrading treatment against civilians they accused of refusing to hand
over cash or to disclose information, of refusing to handover private
weapons, or other similar accusations. 





Many civilians were displaced and suffered physical, mental, social,
economic and other injuries following the expansion of the conflict into
Afar and Amhara Regions. Insecurities resulting from the war and human
rights violations including large-scale looting and destruction
perpetrated by Tigray Forces were the main drivers of displacement from
Afar and Amhara regions. 





Separation from family members, inadequate humanitarian assistance
including food, health services, clothing, and bedding; as well as
shortages of sanitary pads and other specific supplies for women,
children, older persons and persons with disabilities has aggravated the
precarious situation of the most vulnerable IDPs. 





In many areas covered by this investigation, and which were under
their control, Tigray Forces carried out widespread and organized
pillaging, looting and destruction of government administration
facilities, public service facilities (in particular education and
health facilities), private property, and commercial properties. The
breakdown of law and order in the local areas also resulted in some
civilians taking part in the looting.





Deliberate destruction of Infrastructure





In many of the areas covered by the investigation, Tigray Forces,
with deliberate intent and in a carefully organized manner, pillaged
medical equipment, machinery and other technological tools and
transported them in vehicles apparently to the Tigray region. From
hospitals and other health facilities in particular, medicine, equipment
and other laboratory equipment, ambulances and other medical equipment
were pillaged and transported.





In Afar and Amhara regions, a total of 2,409 health facilities
including hospitals and health posts have ceased operation as a result
of the destruction, damage and pillage they sustained. In addition, a
total of 1,090 schools were fully destroyed while 3,220 sustained
partial damage in both regions. 





Financial institutions, in particular 18 commercial banks, sustained
billions of birr worth loss due to looting and destruction on 346
branches.





In many of the areas covered by the investigation, Tigray Forces have
looted day to day consumables such as food items and clothing, as well
as other commercial goods in privately owned shops and/or residences,
perishable food items, grains and cereals, electronic goods and others.
They also shot and killed domestic and farm animals.





The war has caused a grave humanitarian crisis in Afar, Amhara and
Tigray Regions, significantly increasing the level of humanitarian need.
It is apparent that the ongoing conflict in Afar Region has impeded
humanitarian relief services into Tigray Region.





No mercy even for children and persons with disability





Children were killed, subjected to SGBV, physical and psychological
injuries, as a direct result of acts of violence taken by parties to the
conflict. Children were exposed to traumatic experiences such as
witnessing the killing, physical injury to or rape of close family
members. The destruction of health and education facilities has resulted
in a violation of children’s right to health and education. Beyond the
social, economic, and psychological injuries, large-scale civilian
displacement has denied children the protection they receive from their
family members.





Persons with disability and older persons died, suffered physical and
mental injury, as a result of violations committed by parties to the
conflict. Older women were subjected to sexual violence by Tigray
Forces. Older persons whose houses and property were destroyed suffered
additional injury, trauma, and exposure to other socio-economic
challenges because they lost sources of financial support due to family
members being killed or physically injured.





Joint UN-EHRC investigation instead of setting up alien investigation mechanism





In the detailed conclusions and recommendations that the report forwards, EHRC
has stated that the human rights and humanitarian law violations that
have been committed in Afar and Amhara may constitute war crimes and
crimes against humanity.





It therefore important to have another impartial and credible joint
investigation by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
consistent with applicable international human rights standards to
ensure accountability in Afar and Amhara regions. The widespread nature
of the human rights violations detailed in the report demonstrates that
the task should not be left solely to a single organization.





Instead of complimenting Ethiopia’s effort to ensure accountability
and redress the victims of   human rights violations, it is regrettable
see the international community setting up a unilateral and alien
investigation mechanism.  The government of Ethiopia reiterates the need
for cooperation and mutual respect between local and international
human rights institutions.





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Ethiopia Participates in the 5th UN Environmental Assembly in Nairobi





The Fifth Session of the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA
5.2) was held in Nairobi Kenya from 28th February to 2nd of March 2022
under the theme “strengthening actions for nature to achieve the
Sustainable Development Goals” and the commemoration of the fifth
anniversary of the establishment of the UN Environmental Program
(UNEP@50).





The session was attended by about 3,000 in-person and 1,500 online
participants from 175 UN Member States, including 79 ministers and 17
high-level officials.   Madam Amina Jane Mohammed, UN Deputy
Secretary-General, presided over the assembly meeting virtually and
presented an opening remark. In the three-day event, the assembly
adopted 14 resolutions and one decision that prioritized ecosystem
restoration, biodiversity protection, resource efficiency, consumption
and production patterns, climate mitigation and adaptation, job
creation, and poverty reduction. The Assembly convenes every two years
to advance global environmental governance.





Opening the august Assembly, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyata,
reiterated that his government is committed to working closely with the
UN to provide support and facilities to UN agencies based in Kenya and
the region so that they will be able to achieve their mandate.   





The Ethiopian delegation was led by Getahun Garedew (Ph.D.), the
Director-General of the Environmental Protection Authority of the
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The delegation actively
participated during the negotiation of a couple of resolutions and
contributed its key roles in finalizing the resolutions through
consensus for adoption by the ministerial assembly. In particular,
Ethiopia participated mainly in three resolutions: (1) Resolution on
the sustainable lake, (2) Resolution on sustainable and resilient
infrastructure, and (3) Resolution on animal welfare.
In addition,
Ethiopia cosponsored a resolution due regard to the principle of
equitable geographical distribution presented by Russia.  As a member of
the African Diplomatic Corps (Dubbed the African Group), the Ethiopian
delegation also took part and supported three resolutions:  Circular economy, Green recovery, and biodiversity and health.





The Director General, as the head of the Ethiopian delegation,
presented the national statement of Ethiopia and called on the global
community to ensure predictable and sustainable finance for Least
Developed Countries (LDCs) to tackle the negative impacts of climate
change. He also underlined the importance of ensuring predictable and
sustainable finance for LDCs by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) on
financing sustainable development. He further stressed the significance
of mainstreaming the climate change protection agenda into every
national and international policy arena, and the need to take concrete
and pertinent actions to implement climate-resilient policies with the
provision of adequate finance and transfer of technology. He also
recapped major activities undertaken by the Government of Ethiopia to
fight climate change-related hazards by adopting necessary policy
documents and legal frameworks to realize the country’s goal of net-zero
GHG emission promised after the Paris Climate Change Agreement.  He
concludes his remark by reiterating Ethiopia’s unwavering commitment to
the implementation of all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),
particularly the environmental dimensions of sustainable development
goals.





On the margins of the fifth session of UNEA, the director-general
held introductory bilateral meetings with various stakeholders and
discussed matters of mutual interest. He also met with Inger Anderson,
the Executive Director of the United Nations Environmental Program
(UNEP) on 02 March 2022, and exchanged views on the ways to strengthen
the collaboration between the Ethiopian Environment Authority and UNEP
in tackling the negative impacts of climate change. Similarly, he held a
fruitful discussion with Ethiopians and people of Ethiopian origin
working in the UNEP on environmental issues.





Concluding its three days session, the Assembly was followed by “UNEP@50,” a two-day Special Session of the Assembly marking UNEP’s 50th anniversary
celebrating it under the theme: “Strengthening UNEP for the
implementation of the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development”. During the celebration, Member States
presented their own perspectives to address how to build a resilient and
inclusive post-pandemic world. The two-day event was an important
highlight among a number of activities and events over the past year to
recognize the significant progress made on tackling climate change,
biodiversity loss, and pollution, and address the challenges to come.
The President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, together with
other four African presidents and prime ministers joined ministers of
the environment and other representatives from 175 nations for the
event.




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