Thank you, Madame President.
The United Kingdom welcomes Dr Babika to the role of Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in Eritrea and we fully support all efforts to fulfil his mandate.
The UK is concerned by the involvement of Eritrean forces in Tigray and reported human rights violations and abuses by all those involved in the conflict. We call for the withdrawal of Eritrean forces and urge all parties to bring an end to the fighting. We also call for independent, international investigations into allegations of human rights abuses and violations, to ensure that perpetrators of proven allegations are held to account and to gain justice for victims.
We welcome news of the release of religious worshippers during 2020, however we remain concerned that many worshippers are still subject to arbitrary detention. We urge Eritrea to release all those being arbitrarily detained and to progress with National Service reform.
The UK also encourages progress on Eritrea’s implementation of the recommendations from its last Universal Periodic Review and we call on the government to share their plans for doing this at the earliest opportunity.
Finally, how does the Special Rapporteur intend to use his mandate to influence Eritrea’s trajectory on human rights?