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Halt financial support to the government of Ethiopia which is committing genocide

Tigrai Online June 9, 2021 />


Mr. David R. Malpass
President, The world Bank Group
1818 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20433

RE: Halt financial support to the government of Ethiopia which is committing genocide

Dear Mr. Malpass:

We are writing to urge the World Bank to reevaluate its practices and halt its financial support to the government of Ethiopia which is committing unspeakable atrocities on its own people, the worst of which is in the Tigray region. We as diaspora Ethiopians with Tigrayan origin and as members of Security and Justice for Tigrayans in Ethiopia (SJTE), an advocacy organization, are extremely troubled and dismayed by the Bank’s practices of funding a government widely condemned for committing atrocities.

SJTE has no doubt that the Bank is aware of the atrocities because they have been widely reported throughout the world. The government of Ethiopia turned off everything including electricity, telephone, internet, water, and banking systems and invaded Tigray on November 4, 2020 with its full military might along with allied forces it assembled from the region. During the past seven months, the invaders have massacred Tigrayans in the hundreds of thousands, raped thousands of women and girls as young as 12, some gang-raped by as many as 23 soldiers. In the last few days, The Telegraph reported of burn victims from the use of banned white phosphorus by the Ethiopian and Eritrean forces. These forces have looted or destroyed more than 80% of clinics and hospitals, factories, and the region’s economic infrastructure. The militants from the Amhara region have driven all Tigrayans out of western Tigray and are populating it with ethnic Amhara, in a classic ethnic cleaning operation that the US administration has labeled as such. These displaced people numbering in the millions are scattered throughout other parts of Tigray without food, shelter, medicine, or any of their belongings. Today, the pillaging of Tigray has not stopped. It has continued at a much greater intensity.


We are aware the Bank is concerned about the situation in Ethiopia as stated on March 5, 2021. But, despite its affirmation and commitment to “…explicit requirements for nondiscrimination, meaningful consultation, effective public participation, property rights, accountability, transparency and good governance”, the Bank continues to finance the Ethiopian government.

Just three weeks after the statement of March 5, the Bank announced a $500 million IDA credit for Ethiopia to provide a “universal electricity access.” This is ironic because this financing took place at the same time the Ethiopian government turned off all sources of existing electricity to the entire Tigray region to start a genocidal war. Today, the electric service to the region is sporadic and unreliable because the government turns it off whenever it wants to punish the people. Expansion of new service to increase “access” in Tigray is unthinkable. The government and its allies are destroying, not building, important infrastructure in the region. Of course, the government has its favorite regions and it will divert Tigray’s shares of this and other funds to those regions.


SJTE believes any form of financial support by the World Bank or any international institution to the Ethiopian government is tantamount to supporting the atrocities it is committing on its own people. At best, any money given to it in any form will not be equitably used. The government instead will use the funds to benefit segments of Ethiopia that support it and punish others that show reluctance to support it and labels them as hostile. The most dangerous form of misuse, however, is the use of the funds directly or indirectly to purchase weapons to perpetuate a war that has caused so much misery to people that want to live in peace.

We urge the World Bank to evaluate its financing practices on Ethiopia and stop financing any projects until the government commits to dialogue and peace, allows the return of the duly elected regional government, respects human rights, brings all criminals to justice, returns all looted properties, compensates individuals and the regional government for damaged and destroyed properties, and respects the constitution of the country.

We thank you. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any assistance with further information.

Most respectfully,



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