By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said that rules of law and civil rights have been denied due to lack of adequate measures taken to hold the groups and individuals accountable by law for their illegal acts of evicting citizens from their places of residential areas, killing them, destroying properties and causing physical harm.
The Commission made public here in its annual report released last Friday that no corrective measures “are being taken for the arbitrary mass evictions”.
EHRC has also announced that failing to bring about a permanent solution to the problem and ignoring the needs of the displaced compatriots will expose the victims to another displacement. The Commission further stated that three years have elapsed since most of the displaced compatriots have started living in shelters and dispersed within the host community without getting a permanent solution.
The fact that the shelters are located in the vicinity of military camps shows that the security of IDPs is at risk and this indicates that the government has neither lived up to its expectations nor been governed by the Kampala Agreement, EHRC said
The Commission has thus disclosed that the protection and support to prevent displacement of people as well as the gaps witnessed in the process of finding a sustainable solution, have still remained a big concern.
Apart from the poor recording and filing systems of the displaced people, the support that should be provided to them is not being carried out properly, and it also prevents IDPs from exercising their freedom of movement and getting access to social services.
The statement quoted Deputy Chief Commissioner of EHRC, Rakeb Mesele, as saying that 80% of displacement in Ethiopia is caused by violent conflicts. So, in order to prevent displacement and provide a sustainable solution to the problem, it is necessary to resolve conflicts peacefully in a timely manner, the statement indicated.
Although ensuring the complete protection of displaced persons requires the attention and implementation of all governmental institutions, the Commission announced that a coordinated system has not been implemented to coordinate and direct the activities of the concerned institutions. The Commission said that the absence of a legally mandated body to coordinate this is one of the main reasons for the gap to protect and support IDPs.
The Commission further stated in the statement that as it has not been known which government institution has the responsibility of supervising and coordinating the work related to the protection of the displaced persons, it has been problematic to plan and carry out the protection and support works in a coordinated manner.
The report indicated that EHRC has supervised the human rights treatment of approximately 350,000 IDPs and 18,637 returnees in eight Regions, including IDPs in 44 shelters, in 11 host communities, four areas where they have been repatriated and in three areas where IDPs are permanently settled.
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