Open Letter to the: United Nations, African Union, European Union, United Sates Secretary of State, United Nations Security Council
By Teka Neguse, PharmD
President, Security and Justice for Tigrayans (SJT)
Tigrai Online July 20, 2021
RE: An Urgent Appeal to Stop Indiscriminate Human Right Violations of Tigrayans
It has been over eight months since Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia and Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea subjected Tigray and Tigrayans to a total destruction. The brutality of the war, the crimes committed against all ages, and the material loss are by now clear to the whole world. The horror of rape faced by women and girls of all ages, the use of famine as a weapon of war and the blocking of all bank accounts opened by Tigrayans so that they are not spared the hunger and suffering faced by ordinary people is well documented for all to see.
The world is also witnessing the renewed call for an all-out war by Abiy Ahmed two weeks after declaring a ‘unilateral ceasefire’. In declaring a unilateral ceasefire, he reasoned that he wanted to give a respite for Tigrayan farmers to use the rainy season to plough their land. SJT has foretold and communicated to the international community, in no uncertain terms, that Abiy was lying and the reason for his call for unilateral ceasefire was to buy time to regroup his forces after being severely defeated by the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF). As predicted, he is now engaged in what he calls his final attack.
Currently, Tigrayans in Ethiopia are facing the outrage of this fascist clique. Tens of thousands of Tigrayans are being rounded up and taken to concentration camps. People are being brutally murdered in small towns in some parts of Ethiopia and their bodies dragged on streets for all to see. Small and big businesses are either confiscated or shut down by local authorities.
SJT believes that you have all the necessary tools to verify the horrendous acts of hateful measures that Abiy Ahmed has unleased on Tigray. Your repeated efforts to appease Abiy Ahmed to stop his acts of genocide and crimes against humanity as documented by trusted international institutions, governments, and media attests to this fact.
And yet, in areas where it matters, most world bodies failed from doing what is right and just. Aside from words of condemnations and acts of appeasement, no meaningful action has been taken to force the culprits, Isaias and Abiy, to stop the war. Each hour and day, the international community fails to act means loss of lives and destruction of Tigray.
The world must understand that it is dealing with a man who will stop at nothing to ensure that he stays in power including the spread of endless and dangerous lies with no shame. His government, just a few months ago, lied to the highest official of the United Nations that Eritrean Forces did not enter Ethiopia. Around the same time, he told his parliament that not a single civilian was killed in Tigray by the war he unleashed. Today, his government is denying 6,000 of his soldiers are prisoners of war in Tigray and tells in a nationwide televised broadcast that the video evidence is a ‘photoshop’ of Ethiopia’s Great Run.
It is very important to note that Abiy’s government is not a partner in peace. It has no intention of stopping the war or coming to a table for an inclusive dialogue to resolve the current crisis. It neither possesses a semblance of morality nor a desire to stabilize the country. It is high time that the world realizes the country’s destiny under this government is grim. The country’s unity and territorial integrity are under grave danger. The aspiration for a more pluralistic and democratic society that young Ethiopians struggled for is now badly compromised. The Amhara chauvinist elites who were quietly supporting Abiy have now come out of their cocoons and start openly advocating for an all-out war. Their common and unexplainable hate for the people of Tigray have made them openly espouse fascism.
Time for appeasement must now end. We expect the world bodies to do what is just. Short term political expediency should not take precedence over a stable, united, and peaceful horn of Africa.
We have come to the conclusion that this government must be forced to obey international laws and recommendations in order to save the nation, and in particular, the people of Tigray from further devastation.
We urge governments and international organizations to take meaningful actions to force Abiy Ahmed agree to the following proposals to end the war.
- Eritrea must withdraw from Ethiopia and expansionist Amhara forces must withdraw to prewar internal borders. The withdrawal must be verifiable. All claims and conflicts must be resolved through dialogue. Allow and facilitate the return of all displaced Tigrayans to their homes, businesses, and farms.
- Abide by the current constitution of the country as a mechanism to resolve current crisis and to govern the country.
- Reinstate electricity, telephone, internet, banking, transportation, and all other public services to their pre-war status.
- Allow unhindered humanitarian access to all parts of Tigray to avert a looming catastrophic famine.
- Release all political prisoners and people who have been incarcerated because of their ethnic identity.
- Stop arresting and sending Tigrayans to internment camps. Stop closing Tegaru business and confiscating their properties.
- Demand independent and transparent investigation for the atrocities, ethnic cleansing, crime against humanity and pillaging properties and infrastructure in Tigray.
Ethiopia is now on the verge of collapse. The government of Abiy Ahmed is trying to change his ‘law and order operation’ into an all-out internecine civil war. He does this purely to extend his stay in power. He must be stopped. Tigray and the democratic world expect no less from world political and moral leaders. The agony of the people can only be relieved when the world acts in conscience.
Teka Neguse, PharmD
President, Security and Justice for Tigrayans (SJT)
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