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Implementing human rights recommendations proves vital ahead of EU ministerial meeting

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(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

European Union special representative for human rights calls on Ethiopia to fully implement the recommendations of the human right reports.
EU special representative for the horn of Africa, Eamon Gilmore, has paid a three-day visit to Ethiopia starting from May 16-18. During his visit, the special representative met with high government officials including president Sahile-work Zewde and Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen.
During the press conference on May 18, the EU special representative said that currently there are three main issues that need to be addressed as the EU member state prep for a ministerial meeting which will be held in June to decide on the Union’s financial and overall re-engagement with Ethiopia.
The first issue that requires attention is noted to be the humanitarian situation in the country. “There have been difficulties in getting humanitarian assistance,” said Eamon with the difficulties cited to be from issues in administration, permits, and related to humanitarian routes. The national dialogue and human rights as well as the issue of accountability are also said to be the other two main issues.
“We have been shocked by the reports from the course of the past year and a half or more, which have emerged of very serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law,” said Eamon Gilmore adding, “we’re keen to see follow up on those reports and accountability for the perpetrators of the human rights violations, which have occurred irrespective of when they occurred, where they are, or who they are.”
“We’ve seen here on extrajudicial killings, involving serious sexual violence and gender based violence during the course of the conflict,” Eamon said whilst highlighting the plight that the people of the country have gone through as victims of human rights violations.
The representative asserts that even though the joint investigation by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is supported by the Union, it is also keen to see more follow-ups done on the report.
“The issue is implementations of recommendations which the 27 foreign ministers will ask in the June meeting,” underlined Eamon as he explained that the members States will decide on the Union’s financial and overall re-engagement with Ethiopia, adding, “we want to contribute on the humanitarian efforts hence our main concern is to move a side the obstacles.”
The special representative will also represent its report of the visit on next meeting of the Human Rights Dialogue, which will take place in Brussels in early December.

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