AAA PRESS RELEASE -28 February 2023
AAA declined to sign onto a joint statement on the ICHREE issued by civil society and human rights organizations
28 February 2023
The Amhara Association of America (AAA) declined to sign on to the joint statement by civic organizations calling on UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) members not to terminate the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) because the statement mischaracterizes the intent and mandate of the ICHREE. AAA welcomed the invitation to review a draft by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and provided edits to the statement that would have been an inclusive and accurate description of the mandate of ICHREE, which is to investigate all human rights violations in Ethiopia since November 2020, not just in Amhara, Afar, and Tigray Regions. However, the proposed addition of Addis Ababa and Oromia Region as areas of investigation for the ICHREE as well as a language expressing the broader mandate of the ICHREE, was rejected by HRW.
The conduct and operations of human rights organizations should reflect principles of objectivity and fairness, treating all lives equally. This statement requesting UNHRC members to reject any attempt by the Ethiopian government to terminate ICHREE’s mandate justifying the call by focusing primarily on one region, ignores and neglects the lives of other Ethiopians who continue to suffer in different parts of Ethiopia. AAA has been vocal about how many of the same human rights organizations, signatories to the statement and the global human rights community more broadly have either neglected or failed to investigate and bring to attention the genocide against Amharas in the Oromia Region by the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and Oromia Regional forces and the recently intensified ethnic cleansing of non-Oromos (primarily Amharas) from the outskirts of Addis Ababa. The global human rights community has also paid little attention to the atrocities committed by the Tigray People's Liberation Front and OLA against civilians in Amhara and Afar Regions. The damage to the reputation of these human rights organizations caused by such real and perceived biases has a ripple effect as it is already undermining the cause of human rights promotions in Ethiopia.
AAA thus would like to take this opportunity to urge the ICHREE to continue to honor its mandate: "To conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into allegations of violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law and international refugee law in Ethiopia committed since 3 November 2020". Amidst the lack of balanced reporting on human rights violations in Ethiopia, the ICHREE's adherence to this inclusive mandate will be vital in gaining the necessary credibility to mobilize Ethiopians for much-needed accountability for the heinous crimes committed in Ethiopia. AAA will continue to support ICHREE and other organizations investigating the ongoing Amhara genocide and other human rights violations in Ethiopia.
For further information about the ICHREE mandate, please consult their website:
Media Contact: Info@AmharaAmerica.org