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Ethiopia Is Not Ready for Transitional Justice

Washington should not engage with the country’s government unless it pursues accountability for war crimes.

By Seifudein Adem, a professor of global studies at Doshisha University
Abadir M. Ibrahim, associate director of the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School.
MARCH 14, 2023

Abiy Ahmed

Now that the two-year civil war in Tigray and its surrounding regions is over, discussions have begun about transitional justice in Ethiopia. Meanwhile, a policy debate is taking place in the United States on whether and how to lift economic restrictions put on Ethiopia due to its massive human rights violations during the war.

In a debate between those favoring condemnation versus engagement, the latter group seems to have gained the upper hand. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, on Tuesday. The United Nations Human Rights Council is also about to hear a report this month on Ethiopia and possibly vote on the future of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE).

Not surprisingly, therefore, the Ethiopian government is keen on proposing a transitional justice process—on its terms. Although the world should rejoice at the prospect of transitional justice in the wake of a bloody civil war that claimed around 600,000 lives—according to Olusegun Obasanjo, Horn of Africa envoy for the African Union—Ethiopia is unfortunately unprepared to embark on this, Read More on  FP