African governments have called on the UN Human Rights Council to terminate the mandate of a team of human rights experts on Ethiopia after the submission of its latest report earlier this week.
The expert panel said war crimes and crimes against humanity were still being committed despite the signing of cessation of hostilities agreement officially ending the war in Tigray.
It further stated that violent confrontations are at a near-national scale.
But an Ethiopian delegate accused the commission of failing to recognise the efforts of the government and engaging in “defamatory rhetoric with questionable methodology”.
In its call for the ending of the expert panel’s mandate, a representative of the African Group – made up of the 54 African Union member states at the UN – said domestic measures of accountability should be taken by Ethiopian government with nationwide consultations.
The delegate, who spoke at the ongoing regular meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, said this was successfully under way.
The call stands in stark contrast to calls by global rights watchdogs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for the mandate to be extended amid renewed violence in northern Ethiopia.
The UN-commissioned experts visited Ethiopia in July last year but their stay was limited to the capital, Addis Ababa, as they were denied access to any of the areas that were affected by the conflict in northern Ethiopia.
Their mandate is due to end in December unless the council decides otherwise.