U.N. human rights chief to meet Ethiopia PM, ex-detainees on official visit

U.N. human rights chief to meet Ethiopia PM, ex-detainees on official visit

Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban

(africanews)—The United Nations Human Rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein arrives in Ethiopia today for his second official trip in under a year. The visit is on the invitation of the host government, his office confirmed late last week.

He is due to hold talks with the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and also attend a high-level African Union-United Nations dialogue on human rights, as part of his four-days trip.

High Commissioner Zeid last visited Ethiopia in May 2017, when he met the then Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn and other high-ranking Ethiopian officials and civil society members to discuss the human rights situation in the country.

At the time he also visited the UN Human Rights East Africa Regional Office based in Addis Ababa. The Government of Ethiopia earlier this year extended another invitation to Zeid in respect of a follow-up visit.

“During his four-day visit, Zeid is due to meet with the new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as well as other high-level officials, the Speaker of the House of People’s Representatives and the Chairperson of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, representatives of civil society and Government critics who have recently been released from prison.

“On Tuesday, 24 April, Zeid will deliver opening remarks and participate in the African Union-United Nations High-Level Dialogue on Human Rights, to be held from 8h30 at the AUC Small Conference Hall 2 in Addis Ababa,” an OHCHR statement read.

After the meeting, a joint press briefing by the AU Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat and Zeid be held before Zeid subsequently delivers a lecture at the Addis Ababa University.