Article from TYN - ICHREE

Featured Article

Call for the expansion and extension of the ICHREE's mandate


We – the pro-society advocates, the pragmatists, the lovers of cultural diversity, the servants of Constitution and regional self-determination – demand that, for the sake of Tigray and of the whole Ethiopian society, the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) be allowed to continue its work, and establish as many facts as possible.
The fact-finding process will doubtless end, as soon as the UN is no longer involved.


If the government of Abiy Ahmed had a real interest in ‘transitional justice’ or accountability, why, then, has it clearly been doing its utmost to prevent the many atrocities committed by its forces and its Eritrean and militia allies from coming to light?

At any rate, the strategy has certainly worked well for the government; it might be summarised thus: ‘Say the right things internationally, tell them what they want to hear, pretend to be committed to society’s wellbeing, while, at the same time, muddying the waters, pushing the propaganda narrative; and – to make sure the lies and disinformation are not revealed to the world – as much as possible restrict the access of international actors, prevent survivors and witnesses from making statements to international organisations, and prohibit facts and gruesome details from becoming widely known.’

At this point, the international community has had ample proof that this government has not acted in good faith, and cannot be trusted, let alone taken at its word. For the sake of international justice, it is, thus, imperative that the ICHREE can continue working and collecting evidence.

If it is left to this Ethiopian government to deal with the complex and multi-faceted consequences of the Tigray war – the breakdown of societal cohesion, and the conflict potential in Amhara, Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz – rather than international or UN-led organisations, there will be no accountability. It is as simple as that.

Ultimately, one can only appeal to society:
If we want at least a chance of justice for survivors, perpetrators held to account, and societal restoration and reconstruction – the preconditions for any meaningful healing process – even just to begin, as a realistic prospect instead of a far-off dream, we must allow the ICHREE to do its work, no matter how long this may take.
We cannot trust this Ethiopian government, after all these crimes and lies. And, though it may be painful to face the situation and confront this dark reality, we must now be clear-eyed:

Allowing this international organisation to collect evidence is not ‘foreign interference’ (inviting Isaias’ conscripts to fight was, selling out to foreign investors is); it is our only realistic chance of getting to at least some facts, – our duty not only to Tigray or to Ethiopia, but to this generation. It is our duty to all of humanity, and to history itself.


– Weleteselassie Asmelash, TYN member