PUBLIC NOTICE CALL FOR PRO-BONO EXPERTS TO SERVICE THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO THE SITUATION IN THE TIGRAY REGION OF ETHIOPIA

  1. INTRODUCTION

On 12th May 2021, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) adopted Resolution ACHPR/Res. 482 (EXT.OS/XXXII) 2021 – Resolution on the Fact-Finding Mission to the Tigray Region of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The Resolution was adopted following concerns about allegations of gross violations in the ongoing conflict in the Tigray region, including sexual violence against women and girls, gang rapes used as weapons of war, killings of civilians by belligerents, allegations of abductions, extrajudicial killings and forced repatriation of refugees and asylum seekers to Eritrea. The ACHPR was also concerned about reports of massive and forced internal displacement of thousands of people in the Tigray region; reports about the intensity of hostilities which resulted in serious and gross violations of human rights, breaches of international humanitarian and human rights law, including the Kampala Convention which may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

  1. AUTHORITY

The COI is established pursuant to Article 45(2) read together with Article 46 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (The Charter) and shall carry out its mandate under the delegated authority of the Commission. In addition, the applicable rules of the COI shall be the Rules of Procedure 2020, of the ACHPR.

  1. OBJECTIVE AND SCOPE

The purpose of the public call is to provide an opportunity to any person who is interested in supporting the Secretariat of the Commission of Inquiry in any capacity, on a pro-bono basis, in order to assist the COI in implementing its mandate.

  1. MANDATE OF COMMISSION OF INQUIRY(COI)

The COI will cover the following areas:

a)  Investigate violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law;

b) enquire into and report on alleged sexual and gender-based violence, extrajudicial killings, widespread destruction and looting of public and private property, displacements and other human rights violations reported to be occurring in the Tigray Region of the Republic of Ethiopia;

c) Determine whether the extent of the violations may constitute gross human rights violations;

d) Collect evidence from survivors, various witnesses, local leaders, medical staff;

e) Identify perpetrators of violations of the rights under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, with a view to contribute to the fight against impunity by holding those responsible for these violations to book;

f) Determine the underlying causes of proven human rights violation; ensuring that both the public and key stakeholders are better informed about and more aware of the nature of the conflict and possible factors fueling the conflict;

g) Make findings and conclusions based on available research and evidence;

h) Develop and recommend proposals for action to remedy the pattern of violation and prevent future violations in the Tigray region;

i) Recommend support and/or reparations to be provided to victims of human rights violation;

j) Engage with the Ethiopian authorities and all other stakeholders.

  1. DURATION OF THE INQUIRY

The Commission of Inquiry will operate for a period of three (3) months, renewable. During this period, the COI will receive oral testimonies, documentary evidence, conduct investigations, interviews, meetings both at its Seat in Banjul and other places. It will also conduct ground missions to the Tigray region and selected neighbouring countries if all the conditions are met.

  1. ELIGIBILITY

Holders of an LLB Degree with litigation experience or experience in leading or supporting evidence teams of International tribunals, National Commissions of Inquiry; representing parties before such tribunals; managing the collection or archiving of evidence, conducting ground investigations, conducting research and supporting trial teams and related matters.

A Masters or Doctoral Degree in Human Rights Law will be an advantage.

  1. TIME COMMITMENT

The duration of the support to the COI on ground in Banjul, Republic of The Gambia will be a period of 90 (ninety) days from mid-June to September 2021.

  1. TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Selected experts shall be bound by special terms and conditions to be agreed upon at the time of contracting.

  1. CLOSING DATE

Interested persons should submit their CVs on or before 15 July 2021 at 24:00hours GMT to under cover of email with subject line clearly marked “EXPRESSION OF INTEREST – PRO-BONO EXPERT”

  1. achpr.inquiry@africa-union.org

or by courier to:

  1. The Secretary of Commission of Inquiry into the

Situation in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia

Bijilo Layout Annex

P.O. Box 673

Banjul, The Gambia