Ethiopia to Pursue Transitional Justice Through Independent Justice Process

Ethiopia to Pursue Transitional Justice Through Independent Justice Process
Ethiopia to Pursue Transitional Justice Through Independent Justice Process

Africa-Press – Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s State Minister of Justice, Belayhun Yirga said the government is committed to a neutral and professional transitional justice process, avoiding any intervention that could compromise its integrity.

Ethiopia has made various attempts to resolve human rights violations, conflicts, unwarranted narratives and abuses that had occurred and continued to persist in different eras with a wide range of victims and perpetrators.

These approaches have not brought about the desired solution as they were not implemented in a manner of universal transitional justice based on truth, reconciliation, mercy and justice and guided by a clear policy in an inclusive, human rights-oriented and flexible way.

Hence, a Transitional Justice Police has been developed with a view to managing and implementing the transitional justice process in an organized, integrated and effective manner at the national level.

A multi-disciplinary panel consisting 10 highly educated experts from academia, legal profession and others has been constituted in the effort to develop the policy, the state minister stated.

This independent taskforce has so far conducted over 60 public workshops and consultations nationwide and developed a comprehensive “green paper” policy framework, he added.

As a result, the Green Paper transitional justice policy has been prepared and endorsed by the council of ministers.

The objective was to devise a policy grounded on the country’s realities by involving all stakeholders – victims, women’s groups, CSOs, regional states, the federal government and the general public, he noted.

The government seeks to pursue transitional justice through a reconciliation process tailored to Ethiopia’s unique context, the state minister told ENA.

Transitional Justice mechanisms are utilized by countries emerging from periods of conflict or human rights violations to address past abuses and transition to a normal justice system, he elaborated.

Ethiopia has been grappled with recurring violence, conflicts and human rights violations under different regimes that remained unaddressed.

“These recurring issues have now become fundamental problems requiring a comprehensive solution outside the regular justice system,” the state minister stated.

In this regard, implementing transitional justice through reconciliation is very important for Ethiopia, he underscored.

While drawing on global best practices, he stressed the need for a reconciliation process fundamentally rooted in Ethiopia’s context and the diverse situations across the country’s different regions and communities, Belayhun explained.

As part of the policy implementation process, several institutions will be established including the truth and reconciliation commission, special attorney general and courts, he indicated.

A draft roadmap containing detailed activities to be carried out during the implementation phase of the policy has also been prepared.

Key elements under consideration include accountability, mechanisms to investigate abuses, provisions for amnesty and reparations, institutional reforms, incorporating customary justice systems, and clearly defining federal-regional state roles.

The government hopes this reconciliation process fosters lasting peace, accountability and healing in Ethiopia. “By establishing a robust accountability system, we aim to deliver a genuine sense of justice to aggrieved parties,” the state minister affirmed.

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