By Haile-Gebriel Endashaw
ADDIS ABABA – Commissioner of Ethiopian Human Right Commission, Daniel Bekele, has met and held discussion with the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, sources said.
The Commission stated that high on the agenda were general human rights issues. The discussion, which was said to be scheduled ahead of the visit of the Secretary of State, reportedly served as a forum in which various human rights issues were deliberated.
The two sides conferred on issues like drought and accessibility of humanitarian needs, conflict and drought affected victims, accountability for crimes and conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, the Commission said.
The Commission stated that the Commissioner and US Secretary of State touched on issues related to the peace agreement signed between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and TPLF on war deterrence in the northern part of the country. Transitional justice, attacks and displacement of civilians, applying excessive force by law enforcement agents, detentions of human rights defenders, members of political parties as well as media personnel were among the points raised in the discussion, according to the news source.
Following the discussion Blinken touched on the possibilities of providing support by the US to national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and individual advocates.
Commissioner Daniel Bekele lauded the discussion as “positive and fruitful”, which gave emphasis on the victim-centered and human rights complaints including the ongoing transitional justice.
Secretary Antony Blinken commented after the discussion that he was moved by the commitment of human rights leaders and advocates in Addis. He tweeted that he hailed their efforts, “…to support inclusive dialogue and a victims-centered transitional justice process to heal the country’s divisions and provide peace and security for all Ethiopians”.
Ethiopia Human Rights Commission is an independent Federal State body established as per the FDRE Constitution and reporting to the Parliament. The Commission acts as a national human rights institution with the mandate for the promotion and protection of human rights.
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