Advocacy Groups and Human Rights Institutions Call for International Support for the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE)

We, the undersigned organizations, note the tenets set forth in Article 10 of the Agreement for Lasting Peace Through a Permanent Cessation of Hostilities (the Pretoria Agreement) that was signed on 2 November 2022 in Pretoria, Republic of South Africa. We underscore the symbiotic relationship between peace and justice, asserting that accountability is instrumental in bringing and sustaining peace in Ethiopia. Unified in purpose, we champion justice and accountability measures that would promote peace throughout Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. In line with the customary international law practices and norms upheld by the United Nations (UN), we invoke Article 10 of the Pretoria Agreement and emphasize the responsibility of the UN bodies to protect populations from atrocities and uphold justice, as key components of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) framework.

In accordance with sub article 3 of Article 10 of the Pretoria Agreement, the Government of Ethiopia unveiled the ‘Policy Options for Transitional Justice in Ethiopia’ (TJPE). The content of this policy has deepened our apprehensions about the ramifications of the Pretoria Agreement concerning justice and accountability. The TJPE, conceived without the requisite and meaningful engagement of victims, uniformly addresses all wars in Ethiopia, the associated atrocities, and their victims, overlooking their unique circumstances.

We further scrutinize whether the conditions are ripe for designing, engaging in substantive consultations, and launching a genuine and effective transitional justice initiative amidst the prevailing armed conflicts in Ethiopia. Persistent conflicts, war, mass atrocities, and the unwillingness and inability to fulfill the primary commitments of the Pretoria Agreement are indicators that Ethiopia is neither transitioning towards peace nor undergoing a political transition. When paired with historical experiences and the ongoing states of emergencies, armed conflict, and gross violations of human rights across various regions of the country, our skepticism regarding the feasibility and viability of realizing genuine transitional justice amplifies.

Our concerns regarding Ethiopia’s domestic approach to transitional justice are underscored by doubts concerning its acceptance by the Ethiopian populace, a conspicuous lack of political resolve to ensure justice, potential selective accountability, and the presence of both legal and practical hurdles in prosecuting those responsible. The Ethiopian justice system falls short of possessing the necessary attributes of independence, impartiality, competence, jurisdiction and capability to investigate crimes committed particularly in relations to the atrocities committed by the Eritrean government and the Eritrean Defense Forces.

We are firmly of the view that the initial step for the transitional justice process in Ethiopia is to ascertain the truths surrounding the wars and associated atrocities. We believe the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) is uniquely situated and equipped to uncover the comprehensive truth independently and impartially, given local constraints and a pervasive mistrust in national systems. It possesses the independence, mandate, and jurisdiction to objectively examine atrocities by all parties, including the Eritrean government and other military entities. Only findings from ICHREE, grounded in evidence, can lay the foundational bedrock for designing a sincere, inclusive, and victim-centric transitional justice process when circumstances permit. Alternative approaches lack credibility.

Consequently, we wholeheartedly advocate for the extension and expansion of ICHREE’s mandate as the sole and only remaining independent investigative mechanism capable of determining the truth, extent of violations, command structures, and assigning responsibility with impartiality. This must also be viewed in light of the ill-considered and premature termination of the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry into the situation in the Tigray Region of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. A just and rightful transitional justice policy based on ICHREE’s findings and recommendations would offer all the requisite for transitional justice.

Therefore, we appeal to the international community, particularly the members of the UN Human Rights Council, to unequivocally support the extension of ICHREE’s mandate and guarantee its unrestricted access to areas of atrocity, witnesses, locations, records, and the like, ensuring a comprehensive investigation and accountability.


  1. Horn of Africa Civil Society Forum (HoACSF), consisting of 70 CSOs
  2. Sudanese Human Rights Monitor (SHRM)
  3. United Women of the Horn (UWH)
  4. Friends of Tigray
  5. Genocide80Twenty
  6. Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT)
  7. Oromo Legacy Leadership & Advocacy Association (OLLAA)
  8. Solidarity of Nations of Ethiopia
  9. Ethiopian Canadians for Peace
  10. Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Somalia Human Rights (CEDA) association – Belgium
  11. Congress for Somali Cause
  12. Seedling for Peace and Democracy in Eritrea
  13. Brotherly Relationship of Natives of Eritrea and Tigray
  14. Human Right First (Ethiopia)
  15. Human Rights Action Group
  16. Culture Education et Developpement pour la Corne de I’Afrique (CEDA asbl)
  17. Eritrean Bright Future Movement
  18. Mahber Selam Ethio-Eritrea
  19. Foundation Human Rights for Eritreans
  20. Eritrea Free Media
  21. Sitti Solidarity Council
  22. Sitti Diaspora Association
  23. Somali State Intellectual Forum
  24. West-Somali-Ogaden Society
  26. Issa Community Unity (ICU)
  27. Ceda-ASBI
  28. Yata Media
  29. Mahber Keskese Mlash
  30. Eritrean Kudus Rufael Kerk
  31. Congolese Sepoir
  32. DW International in Nederland
  33. Mahber Akran
  34. Mariam Drachten
  35. Mahber Bet Metaa
  36. Arbate Adi Belesa
  37. Logo Sarda
  38. Vereniging Selam Edir
  39. Vereniging van Ethiopische Tigreërs in Nederland
  40. Canada Tibet Committee
  41. Alliance of Genocide Victim Communities
  42. URAP | Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project
  43. Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARPSH)
  44. Rohingya Student Network (RSN)
  45. Rohingya Women Association for Empowerment and Development (RWAED)
  46. Education and Wisdom Development for Rohingya Women (EWDRW)
  47. Rohingya Union For Women Education & Development (RUWED)
  48. Alliance of Civil Society Organizations of Tigray (ACSOT), Network of 72 CSOs in Tigray
  49. Bishop Abune Tesfaselassie Medhin, Catholic Eparchy of Adigrat
  50. Tigray Youth Association (Tigray)
  51. Union of Tigrayans in Belgium
  52. Tigrayan Advocacy & Development Association UK
  53. Tigray Youth Network UK
  54. Mekete Tigray UK
  55. The Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals (GSTS)
  56. Association of Tigrayans in Denmark
  57. Association of Tigrayans in France
  58. Tigray Development Association in France
  59. Association of Tigrayans in the Netherlands
  60. Association Tigray Development Association in the Netherlands (TDA NL)
  61. Association Tigray’s Women in Netherlands
  62. Dekna Foundation
  63. Tigrayan Youth Association in Italy
  64. Forum Mekete, Italy
  65. Tigrayan Scholars in Italy (TSI)
  66. Cultural Association and Social Promotion of the Tigray Community in Italy
  67. Volunteer Association for the Development of Tigray, Italy
  68. Association for the Development of Tigray (AST)
  69. Associations of Tigrayan Community in Bologna
  70. Tigray Community Association in Tuscany (ACTT)
  71. Association of Tigrayan Women in Italy
  72. Tigrayhjelpen Norway
  73. Tigray Community Switzerland
  74. Association of Tigrayan Women in Sweden/TKFS
  75. Union of Tigrayan Associations in Sweden
  76. Tigray Human Rights Forum
  77. Omna Tigray
  78. Legacy Tigray
  79. Security and Justice for Tigrayans (SJT)
  80. Health Professionals Network for Tigray (HPN4Tigray)
  81. Tigray Action Committee (TAC)
  82. Tigray Center for Information and Communication (TCIC)
  83. Rescue Tigrayan Rape Victims
  84. Tsilalna Tigray
  85. Union of Tigreans in North America (UTNA)
  86. Waela Tigray
  87. Irob Anina Civil Society (IACS)
  88. United Tegaru Canada
  89. Tinsae Midre Bahri
  90. Union of Tigrayans in Europe (UTE)
  91. Tigray Advocacy and Development Association (TADA) – UK
  92. Samarbeidsfora for Norsk-Tigrayanere- Norway
  93. Association of Tigrayan Communities in Canada
  94. United Tegaru Canada (UTC)
  95. Tigrayan-Canadians Immigration Association
  96. Tigray Humanitarian Aid
  97. Tigray Community Dallas
  98. Tigrayan Association in Toronto
  99. Tigray community of Windsor and Essex County
  100. Tigray community of Saskatchwan
  101. Tigray community of Fory McMurry
  102. Tigray community of Edmenton
  103. Tigray community of Calgary
  104. Tigray community of Vancouver
  105. Tigray community of Quebec
  106. Tigray community of Ottawa
  107. Tigray community of Toronto
  108. TDA Vancouver
  109. Health professionals and Supporters of Canada
  110. Tigray community of Manitob

Press Release, September 15, 2023