Interactive dialogue with the International Commission of human rights experts on Ethiopia

Statement delivered by Ambassador H.E. Paul Bekkers, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

The Kingdom of the Netherlands aligns itself with the EU statement and thanks the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia for its report and the important work that the Commission is executing.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is deeply concerned by the recent renewed fighting in Ethiopia, putting peace in the country further out of reach. We urge all parties to protect civilians, cease fire and start talks to reach a negotiated and verifiable permanent ceasefire agreement.

All parties to the conflict should investigate and bring to justice members of its forces who have committed serious violations of international human rights law and humanitarian law, including those that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity: the reports’ mention of the use of starvation and sexual and gender-based violence as methods of warfare is particularly concerning.

Accountability is an essential part of breaking the cycle of violence in Ethiopia. The work undertaken by the Ethiopian government through the Inter-ministerial Task Force is important. Transparency in its proceedings is essential. In addition, we believe that the work of the International Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia remains a necessary complement to this national mechanism on a road to accountability and justice. 

Commissioners, what can the HRC do to assist the Commission to ensure justice for all victims and accountability for all perpetrators?

Thank you.