Gaping holes in report leave burning questions
The UN Human Right council’s (UNHRC) recent report on Ethiopia in which it outlined atrocities committed in relation to the ongoing northern conflict raises concerns. While the report conferred many of the alleged crimes committed by conflicting parties, it nevertheless failed in several key areas.
For one, the report completely glossed over the Afar region, where a military offensive by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) left thousands of civilians killed, injured, or displaced. Instead, the UNHRC’s commentary was only concerned mainly with Tigray region, followed by the Amhara region.
Another serious shortcoming of the report is the remote nature of the report, in which nameless and faceless victims were interviewed by phone from a third country. This gap in methodology renders the report highly unreliable. In its official response, the Permeant Mission of Ethiopia to the UN office at Geneva also addressed these issues.
In addition to the above-mentioned irregularities, one of the report’s chief creators also compromised her position. A recent search through her Twitter history revealed just how much Kaari Betty Murungi had been in cahoots with proponents of the Tigray insurrectionists.
The Twitter record, Kaari Murungi did not want the world to see have been recovered, courtesy of @EthioCyberia and @Qnie_Addis. It is extremely striking how Murungi’s tweets were predictive of the most recent statements on Ethiopia by the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC). In fact, the ire similarity between her tweets and the recent UN human rights report raises serious credibility concerns for the institution she represents.
The chief author of the recent human rights report on Ethiopia, Kaari Murungi had always been in cahoots with TPLF rebels in Northern Ethiopia as evidenced by here Twitter history. Here is Mrs. Murungi calling for invocation of UN’s Responsibility to Protect(R2P) in April 2021, long before her appointment to the commission. Her call came during heightened social media activism by supporters of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray rebels who claimed there was a genocide against their ethnic group without a shred of evidence to show for it. When you put her tweets side by side with the IHRC statement from September 7, 2022, urging the UN Security Council to “take action” and how much her bias affected the Commission become glaringly obvious.
Her tweets make it abundantly clear that Murungi had determined that crimes against humanity were committed long before September 2022, when supposedly, the investigation was concluded. No need for due diligence, no need for witnesses; apparently Kaari Murungi can settle such weighty matters from the confront or her couch. Remarkably, the IHRC never did any field work in Ethiopia to back their most recent claims either.
The question is whether Federico Villegas, of the UN Human Rights Council, and the other organizer of the report know about Kaari Murungi’s pro-TPLF bias at the time of her appointment or was she appointed and later on tasked to lead the team exactly for that reason?
Ahead of the October 7 meeting to decide the fact of the IHRC Ethiopia’s UN representative in Geneva should conduct its own investigation and lodge a complain to the UN Human Rights Council asking for the report to be declared null and void considering Murungi’s glaring predisposition and her recusal for future investigations
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is the leading United Nations entity in the field of human rights, with a unique mandate to promote and protect all human rights for all people. It is dispiriting that Mrs. Murungi was given the assignment of reporting on Ethiopia by the Office knowing full well where she stands with regards to the conflict in northern Ethiopia.
Ethiopia and Africa deserve better from the UN.