Tigray Diaspora Condemn “War Crimes” By Ethiopian Federal Forces and Eritrea

Abiy Ahmed
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Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. 

Statement By Tigray Diaspora  

September 8, 2021

Three hundred agonizing and tortuous days have passed since the tripartite evil forces of the Ethiopian Military of Abiy Ahmed Ali, the Eritrean army of Isaias Afwerki, and the rogue Amhara extremist militia have unleashed a war of extermination on the people of Tigray.

It is not without reason that we say the crimes committed by these tripartite forces are genocidal and crimes against humanity. The extreme and gruesome stories of mutilated bodies of Tigrayan civilians found floating on the banks of Setit river as reported by CNN and The Telegraph are extremely alarming and unmistakably indicative of the hallmarks of a genocide as defined by international law.

Today, Diaspora Tigrayans across the world have come out to voices for our families who have endured unspeakable atrocities and are facing dire humanitarian conditions as we speak.

First, we would like to thank the international community and numerous media outlets for standing with Tigray and speaking out about the dire humanitarian situation in Tigray and for donating food and medicine to alleviate the potential humanitarian crises.

We also acknowledge the contribution of the United States and many other NATO member countries such as Ireland, UK, France, Germany, Estonia for persistently voicing for the voiceless and for all that they have been attempting to do through the EU and the UN systems. We are also grateful for the condemnation statements and limited sanctions put forward by the US and EU countries on individuals and countries involved in atrocities in Tigray.

Notwithstanding all the positive responses to the cause of the people of Tigray, we have been repeatedly pleading with NATO, the UN, G-7-member countries, EU, AU, and the U.S. to use their power and influence to end the misery of our people in Tigray. 

The repeated calls by most of the NATO member countries, G7 leaders, EU, U.S., and the United Nations to PM Abiy Ahmed and his government for an all-inclusive political dialogue and impartial investigation of the war crimes have landed on deaf ears. The Eritrean government is still occupying parts of Tigray. The leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea have a complete disregard for civil, democratic, and inclusive political engagements and dialogues.

We want the world to know that the politics of appeasement does not work with Isaias and Abiy. In his recent statement, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Guterres spoke about food shortages in Tigray without pinpointing the cause for it and without identifying the responsible party. As the whole world knows, the blockage of food to Tigray and the ongoing starvation is a direct result of the government of Ethiopia’s criminal decision to choke Tigray. 

Considering this fact, we believe that singling out the Government of Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia as the sole responsible party for this inconceivable atrocity and war crime is expected from the United Nations and other world bodies.

In his August 26, 2021 statement, Ambassador Richard Mills, US Deputy Representative to the UN stated the following: “We are troubled …that the Ethiopian government is intentionally withholding humanitarian assistance to starving Ethiopians, and these impediments to the movement of humanitarian supplies must be removed immediately, and trucks must be allowed to enter and deliver lifesaving assistance to Tigray.” 

Mr. Mills further stated that: “This Council was very clear when we passed Resolution 2417 in 2018: the denial of humanitarian access and depriving civilians of objects indispensable to their survival is a violation of international humanitarian law and can constitute a war crime. Mr. President, Council Members: This is happening on our watch.”

Emphasis added.

We agree. This crime is happening under the watch of all world organizations. The United Nations repeatedly mentions that the unity of Ethiopia is at stake and stressed the importance of the unity of Ethiopia. No one fought more for the unity of Ethiopia, and no one has a better understanding about the unity of Ethiopia more than the people of Tigray. However, the failure to identify the culprit for the mass atrocities including the deliberate starvation left many observers with the impression that unity takes precedence over the very existence of the people of Tigray.

Facts matter and it is time to explicitly state all the facts. In a highly organized and well-planned war campaign, the Ethiopian government in alliance with the Eritrean government and Amhara militants (supported by foreign drones) ravaged Tigray, its people, and its institutions. It committed well documented massive atrocities including massacres, rapes, war crimes and ethnic cleansing. These crimes satisfy the definition of a Genocide, and yet, no world institution has acknowledged that it is indeed a genocide. The UN has stated on its website

that crimes of genocide “…do not occur overnight; they require planning and preparation and when no justice is done and no one is punished for perpetrating genocide, such impunity increases the risk of future genocide and crimes against humanity.”

In addition to the extensive war crimes and ethnic cleansing committed within Tigray proper, Tigrayans all over Ethiopia have been profiled, displaced, discriminated against, imprisoned, harassed, tortured, killed, and suspended from work by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government simply because they are Tigrayans.

While we all want peace, stability and coexistence, unity of Ethiopia cannot and should not be achieved at the expense of the very existence of the people of Tigray. We would also like to bring to your attention that the problems of Ethiopia are not limited to Tigray or the Ethiopian government’s relationship with the TPLF. The problems are much more complex and will require a comprehensive and pragmatic approach if we genuinely are interested in bringing about a permanent solution to Ethiopia’s problems.

We urge the United Nations and other international bodies to take the necessary steps to appropriately recognize the ongoing atrocities in Tigray and work with governments and the international community to bring about a lasting peace in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa based on facts and historical considerations. 

We also urge the world to stop governments that are supporting the genocidal government of Ethiopia. In the last few weeks, the governments of Turkey and Ethiopia have signed agreements on military cooperation and the supply of military hardware at a time when the country is embroiled in civil war. Based on credible international media reports, the military cooperation includes for Turkey to supply TB-2 Bayraktar armed drones which are going to be used against civilians in Tigray and other parts of Ethiopia as the conflict expands. 

Turkey, as a member of NATO, has agreed to support the ongoing war of extermination against the people of Tigray. We believe that Turkey's decision to support the war of extermination in Tigray by supplying Ethiopia with devastating military hardware will further destabilize the Horn of Africa exacerbating refugee crisis in the region and beyond. Turkey's decision to support the war of extermination in Tigray seems to be in direct contradiction to NATO's governing treaties and principles. Turkey seems to be noncompliant with Articles 2 and 8 of the alliance.

["Article 2: The Parties will contribute toward the further development of peaceful and friendly international relations by strengthening their free institutions, by bringing about a better understanding of the principles upon which these institutions are founded, and by promoting conditions of stability and well-being. They will seek to eliminate conflict in their international economic policies and will encourage economic collaboration between any or all of them."

"Article 8: Each Party declares that none of the international engagements now in force between it and any other of the Parties or any third State conflicts with the provisions of this Treaty and undertakes not to enter into any international engagement in conflict with this Treaty"].

We call upon NATO to stop Turkey, to immediately halt its supply of these killing machines and abide by the rules stated above. We also urge the international media to continue exposing the facts on the ground and be a voice to the voiceless people who are facing untold miseries.

Finally, we ask the UN, AU, EU, democratic governments and concerned individuals to call for:

- immediate and monitored withdrawal of Eritrean troops and Amhara forces 

- unfettered humanitarian access for the delivery of food, water and medical supplies to the people of Tigray

- restoration of banking, telephone, electricity, transportation, water, and medical services throughout Tigray

- independent international investigation on all rights violations and war crimes in Tigray

- full access to international media for reporting the atrocities in Tigray

- a negotiated ceasefire followed by all-inclusive political dialogue.

As Martin Luther King said, ‘Injustice anywhere is Injustice Everywhere.’

 

Respectfully, 

Dr. Teka Neguse 

SJT President 

Tel: 443-537-3910, Email: SJT.info@gmail.com

CC: NATO Member Countries:

 

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