Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard
U.S. Senior Adviser for African Affairs
New York, New York
October 25, 2023
The United States welcomes the report of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia. We commend the dedication and professionalism of the Commissioners and their staff in preparing a credible report.
We condemn the atrocities – including sexual violence and mass killings – perpetrated against civilians during the conflict in northern Ethiopia and reportedly after the signing of the November 2022 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.
We are concerned by rising violence – in Amhara, Oromia, and elsewhere – including increasing reports of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, and other human rights violations and abuses. We are also concerned by restrictions on press freedom and arrests of journalists.
The United States calls on all actors to cease the use of hate speech, toxic rhetoric, and arbitrary or unlawful discrimination and violence based on gender and ethnicity.
We call on the Government of Ethiopia to hold perpetrators accountable, including any within the Government of Ethiopia.
We welcome cooperation with the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, although we are disappointed by the lack of cooperation with ICHREE in carrying out its mandate. We call for full cooperation with international human rights monitors, access by journalists and restoration of the internet in conflict areas.
We reaffirm our support for a credible, inclusive, and victim-centered transitional justice process and we will continue to assess its progress.
The United States is committed to working with the government and people of Ethiopia toward a more peaceful and prosperous future.
Our question is, what steps has the Government of Ethiopia taken to build trust with victims and ensure consultations are an inclusive process, and do you believe these steps to be sufficient?