Use Ethiopia-Eritrea thaw to improve rights: UN expert

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed welcomes Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia June 26, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

GENEVA- A United Nations special rapporteur said on Wednesday said that the diplomatic impasse between Ethiopia and Eritrea must be used to improve the devastating human rights conditions facing the Eritrean people.

Sheila Keetharuth, the UN’s independent expert on rights in Eritrea, “While peace is being negotiated, while rapprochement is happening, one would make sure that the centrality of human rights is not ignored.”

The two countries, neighbours, have recently taken historic steps towards easing decades of conflict and hostility.

She said, “If this is the change which is happening on the ground, then I really believe it should be embraced,”

“I encourage it but with a caveat that human rights needs to be central in all discussions,” she added.

During Keetharuth term as the UN special reporter for the meetings, her term will be coming to an end and during that time has highlight the serious abuses¬†linked to Eritrea’s mandatory military service, which pays extremely low wages.

But she said the peace deal could be a “game changer.”

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Video Credit- Aljazeera- YouTube

Photo Credit- BusinessLIVE

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