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Open Letter to the G7 Summit - UK Presidency, Cornwall, England, 11-13 June 2021

By Mekete Tigray UK
Tigrai Online June 10, 2021 />


Subject – The War on Tigray and the Imperative and Urgency of Taking Concrete Actions to Avert a Full-blown Famine and the Genocide of an African People and Nationality in the 21st Century

The G7 Summit - UK Presidency is taking place at a time of the global Covid-19 Pandemic and the pressing issues of climate change, trade, and security and geo-political challenges across the globe. The Mekete Tigray UK - a member of the Global Tigrayan Diaspora Association - wishes the G7 Summit success and harmony in its deliberations. Yet, it is crucially important that you also address one of the greatest humanitarian catastrophes of the 21st Century - the genocidal War on Tigray where there is credible and verifiable evidence from multiple sources of ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed over the last seven months by the regimes in Ethiopia, Eritrea and the Amhara Regional State.  In the war on Tigray hunger and starvation, and gender-based violence and rape are used systematically and on industrial scale as stratagem of war. The barbarity of the war in Tigray has escalated, when according to the The Telegraph report from Tigray on 24.05.2021 the Abiy and Isaias regimes began to use a chemical agent, White Phosphorus, against civilians inflicting horrific burns. This is also a clear example of war crimes being committed in Tigray. There is credible information from internal sources that 40 tons of Phosphorus Chemicals arrived in Mekelle Airport on 06 June 2021. This is part of the war strategy and a preparation for what Abiy Ahmed called the “final” war against Tigray, which is ominous for its genocidal intent.

The horrors and aftermaths of the war are catastrophic. 92% of the population of Tigray, 5.2 million people, are on the verge of famine, already thousands have died from hunger according to Mark Lowcock, UN Humanitarian Chief’s briefing to the UN Security Council Secretariat on 5 June 2021. The imminent famine is expected to be equal in scope and magnitude to the 1984/85 Ethiopian famine where over a million people perished and where the main victims were from Tigray. This man-made famine is made possible by the barbaric and total war being waged where 100% of the farmers’ harvests are looted or burnt; 100% farm animals and cattle are looted or killed. Furthermore, farmers are prevented from tilling their lands so that the hunger and starvation continues into the next season.  The horror is further compounded by the deliberate and systematic hindrance of the flow of international humanitarian assistance; the near-total destruction of health facilities, educational, cultural and religious institutions; and the wanton destruction of vital civilian infrastructure in order to tear down the economic and social fabric of Tigray.


“The United Nations humanitarian chief has warned that famine is imminent in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region as well as the country’s north and there is a risk that hundreds of thousands of people or more will die. Mark Lowcock said the economy has been destroyed along with businesses, crops and farms and there are no banking or telecommunications services. “We are hearing of starvation-related deaths already,” he said in a statement released on Friday. “People need to wake up. The international community needs to really step up, including through the provision of money.” “The conflict has destroyed livelihoods and infrastructure … brought about mass killings, abductions and sexual violence,” Lowcock told Al Jazeera before adding that there was evidence pointing towards Eritrea using “starvation as a weapon of war”, a violation and breach of humanitarian law. “There are now hundreds of thousands of people in northern Ethiopia in famine conditions. “That’s the worst famine problem the world has seen for a decade. There is now a risk of a loss of life running into the hundreds of thousands or worse.”

(Aljazeera; 5 June 2021)

The most heinous aspect of the war on Tigray is the mass rape of Tigrayan women and girls, over 22,000 to date. This is unprecedented in the world since the Second World War. This is as a strategy of ethnic cleansing and destroying the blood-line of Tigrayans through forceful demographic change.

“We must stop barbaric crimes against women. Gang rapes and mutilation are being carried out in the Tigray conflict but the world prefers to look the other way. Innumerable witness accounts leave no doubt that war crimes are being committed on a huge scale in Tigray, the region of Ethiopia where a military offensive against rebels was launched last November. Often committed by the armed forces of neighbouring Eritrea, working alongside Ethiopia’s own army, these actions include mass sexual violence against women and girls. Such reports are terrible enough but it is only when you go into the details that you can fully appreciate that these crimes are against the very core of humanity. The accounts from Tigray include women being repeatedly raped next to the bodies of husbands or brothers who had tried to protect them; being told the men in uniform raping them are deliberately selected for being HIV-positive; assaulted with....”

(Lord William Hague, The Times, 31 May 2021)

Yet, Abiy Ahmed completely downplayed the essence of the heinous war crime being committed by his army when he remarked: “What is the fuss about Tigrayans women being raped, our soldiers are being killed!” (Abiy Ahmed’s Response to Sexual Violence and Rape in Tigray; House of Representatives Session, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; EBC, 23 March 2021).


It has been very clear for many months now that a catastrophe is unfolding in Tigray equal in proportions to that in Rwanda or Darfur. It is time to take concrete and meaningful actions commensurate with the scale and magnitude of the crisis. Mere platitude and diplomatic clichés, or visa restrictions or tepid economic sanctions are not enough, as proven in Eritrea against Isaias, since they have completely failed to change the behaviour of the regimes in Addis Ababa, Eritrea or the Amhara Regional State. It is high time to stop appeasing the tyrants Isaias, Abiy Ahmed or the Amhara Regional Government.

“I vividly recall the shocking images back in 1984 of a million emaciated Ethiopian men, women and children, many of them from Tigray, who had fled the country in the midst of a massive famine caused by prolonged drought, widespread food shortages, and discriminatory government policies. Today, the people of Tigray are being subjected to human rights atrocities on an appalling scale, and they are being denied urgently needed humanitarian aid – aid that is being blocked by the Ethiopian and Eritrean militaries as well as other armed groups. The terrible reality today is that famine, crimes against humanity and genocide are occurring in Tigray, and they are occurring for one reason:  the complicity of government officials in Addis and in Asmara.  In fact, there are reports that the situation in Tigray could be worse than in Darfur.”

(US Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Press Statement on Tigray; 6 June 2021)

Your Excellences,

Ethiopia under Abiy Ahmed is heading towards disintegration in many fronts. Over the last three years he has demonstrated his capacity to turn the country from a promising future, relative peace and security and economic development into a failing and pariah state, a complete throwback to the era of the dictator Mengistu Hailemariam.  The Troika -  Abiy Ahmed, Isaias Afewerki and Mohammed Farmajo - have destabilised the Horn of Africa as never  before with grave ramifications in terms of regional insecurity and instability; increased risk of  inter-state wars;  the abandonment of multilateralism; the weakening of regional institutions, such as IGAD; the spread of irregular  immigration; and the fermentation of  violent extremism in East Africa.

Cognizant of and grateful for the concern and assistance thus far provided for the people of Tigray by the G7 countries,  the world, however,  has been very late and has done very little to end the war and stop it horrendous aftermaths over seven months to date. It is in the nature of the regimes that they do not respond when they feel they are being appeased, or when the sanctions are ineffective. The indications are that they will continue to pursue their genocidal war until it is too late to avert a famine or to stope a genocide, which are both extremely time-sensitive.  They have not been stopped for seven months and will therefore continue to think and behave the same by lying, misinforming, misleading, protesting, prevaricating, stalling and threatening - modus operandi  and tactics mastered by Isaias Afewerki and his pupil, Abiy Ahmed. The tragedy is governments and international agencies have been in limbo to effectively confront the issue by taking concrete measures, including punitive economic and financial sanctions and the threat of military actions in order to avert a famine, widespread sexual violence and rape and the making of genocide.


“Every now and then, East Africa breaks into world consciousness. It happened in the mid-1980s, when Ethiopia underwent a terrible famine. Teams of pop stars made two hit “Charity Singles”: “We are the World” and “Do they Know it is Christmas?” Today, Ethiopia is again in the news, for War in Tigray, a region in the country’s north. What is happening there is worse than war, if such a thing is possible. Tigray is a theatre for war crimes and crime against humanity. To make it more interesting – if that is the word – Ethiopia’s head of state is the 2019 Nobel Peace Laureate, Prime Minister of Ethiopia.”

(Jay Nordlinger, National Review; 22 March 2021)

Your Excellences,

We demand:

  1. The full, unconditional, and immediate withdrawal of the Eritrean Military and Amhara Special forces and Militia from Tigray under the UN supervision.
  2. Unhindered access to humanitarian aid.
  3. The reinstallment of the democratically elected Tigray Regional Government.
  4. The beginning of all-inclusive negotiations for a durable peace.
  5. Resettlement of the most vulnerable sections of refugees and displaced people.
  6. Repatriation of refugee and displaced people to their homes in Tigray in safety and security under the supervision of the United Nations and African Union.
  7. Investigation of all human rights violations including the crime of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
  8. Prosecution of the perpetrators of heinous international war crimes.
  9. Return of looted property and reconstruction of war-ravaged infrastructure.

We plead and call upon the G7 and the international community to act urgently to stop this barbaric war and its horrendous aftermaths, including hunger, starvation and famine. The war on Tigray has the hall mark of the genocide in Rwanda and Darfur, which occurred while the world looked the other way.  As Lord William Hague put it, the World is looking the other way in so far as they have failed to take meaningful and decisive action to stop the making of genocide of an African people in the 21st century. We surmise would the leaders of the G7 write in their political memoirs that they wished they had acted sooner and boldly when they recount, if ever, about Tigray, as President Clinton said about Rwanda, or  President Macron of France recent  statement accepting responsibility for the Genocide in Rwanda?  The responsibility and burden of history rests with the Leaders of the G7 and the International community. Moreover, the war in Tigray is a harbinger to the disintegration of Ethiopia and the spread of insecurity and instability in the Horn of Africa with devastating ramifications. These are compelling regional security and strategic reasons why the G7 must act now concretely and decisively. We implore and contend that action delayed is action denied. Thank you.

Your sincerely,

Mekete Tigray UK;
World-wide Association of Tigrayan Women; and


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