Addis Ababa October 19/2022/ENA/ Ethiopia’s Permanent Mission to Geneva has dismissed the exaggerated allegation of Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights that the death toll of civilians in the recent conflict is staggering.

In its press release, the permanent mission stated that it has come across a statement released by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights which attributes civilians’ deaths while admitting that these allegations were not verified.

The permanent mission also said that it would have preferred to meet and brief the new High Commissioner to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Volker Turk, before he opted to start his work with a press release against Ethiopia.

The press release also said the Government of Ethiopia has expressed its deep regrets for any unfortunate harm that might have happened to civilians and humanitarian workers.

The government “is committed to investigating any such incidents and taking corrective measures. It must be clear that the allegation that ‘the toll is staggering’ is an unnecessary exaggeration.”

The mission expressed its hope that this does not herald a change of direction for the partnership Ethiopia enjoyed with the OHCHR.

It also  hoped the practice against Ethiopia in the OHCHR will not become a pattern under the new High Commissioner.

The ENDF has taken the maximum care and succeeded in protecting civilians from harm by avoiding fighting in urban areas.

The Government of Ethiopia is also committed to expediting aid delivery to all in need of assistance, including by creating new routes for humanitarian delivery, both by air and land transport, the release added.

According to the statement, the government “is committed to the African Union-led efforts to find a lasting solution to the conflict in northern Ethiopia. It is also committed to ensuring accountability for any inadvertent violations of human right and humanitarian law during this conflict. We hope to continue to work together with the OHCHR in this endeavour.”

The release further added that the permanent mission stands ready to explain in detail the human rights situation on the ground and the national endeavours underway following recent encouraging developments.

The permanent mission finally stated that Ethiopia welcomes the new High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, and looks forward to working with his office and hope to build productive relations.

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