Sat. Jun 25th, 2022

Excellencies,
Security and Justice for Tigrayans (SJT) is a US based global advocacy organization of diaspora Tigrayans and those of Tigrayan descent. In the past, SJT has written several letters regarding the catastrophic crisis and genocidal war in Tigray Region of Ethiopia. It is pressed to write again to express its deep concerns regarding the plan of the Council of the European Union to allocate funds to support the Government of Mr. Ahmed of Ethiopia that has and still is continuing to commit genocide, war crimes and, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

SJT would like to express its sincere appreciation to the Council of the European Union’s persistent calls for ceasefire, inclusive political dialogue, and unfettered access to humanitarian aid. It also appreciates the Council for firmly standing in support of the people of Tigray who have been starving and dying under siege and genocidal war; and many are leading their lives in complete darkness, being denied access to healthcare, and education; and it has been nineteen months and counting since the people of Tigray have been under a siege with no food, electricity, telecommunication, and banking services, and the most basic human necessity. Moreover, Tigrayans in other parts of Ethiopia, outside Tigray, are constantly subjected to indiscriminate mass imprisonment, discrimination, harassment human rights violations and many other abuses that are too many to enumerate in this letter.

Therefore, the suffering of Tigrayans is not an accidental byproduct of the civil war as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his supporters claim. Rather, the war is an instrument by which the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments and the neighbouring Amhara armed forces are exterminating a minority Tigrayan ethnic group. Reading the report by Amnesty international and Human Rights Watch, entitle “We Will Erase You from This Land” would suffice to determine how cruel the government Mr. Ahmed is. Referring to what the European Union envoy, Mr. Pekka Havisto, told the media is also important: Ethiopia’s leaders told him in closed-door talks that “they are going to wipe out the Tigrayans for 100 years.”

Excellencies,
SJT recognizes and truly appreciates the EU’s plan and effort to support Ethiopia. In principle, SJT doesn’t have any objection to funding and supporting projects and inclusive development programs that aim at helping the poor. In fact, SJT applauds the Council of the European Union for its concern for the plight of poor and suffering Ethiopians.

However, it is needless to inform the Council at this point that the Government of Mr. Abiy Ahmed can not be trusted as a partner to help advance the Council’s noble causes. The Government of Mr. Abiy Ahmed has proven itself not to be a trustworthy partner. Time and again, the Government of Mr. Abiy Ahmed has betrayed and ashamed its international partners.

Excellencies
It is the belief of the SJT that short term political expediency should not take precedence over the lives of millions and the stability and peace of Ethiopia, the people of Tigray in particular, and the horn of Africa in general. Despite the EU’s continuous call for peaceful resolution of the conflict, the Government of Mr. Abiy Ahmed has reflected no sign of honesty and integrity to willingly accept the calls for ceasefire, inclusive political dialogue, and unfettered access to humanitarian aid. Rather, the government of Mr. Abiy Ahmed has shown its determination to annihilate the people of Tigray. SJT believes that the EU has all the necessary information to verify the horrendous acts that the government of Mr. Abiy Ahmed has unleashed on the people of Tigray.

The people of Tigray are subjected to silent, cruel, and untold war of extermination unseen
anywhere in the world. Therefore, SJT requests that the Council of the European Union refrain from appropriating loans or providing grants to the Ethiopian government because of the gross human rights violation and genocide it is committing against its citizens particularly in the Tigray region. SJT notes that
perhaps the poorest and most suffering citizens of Ethiopia now are the people of Tigray. SJT has no doubt that the government will use the fund that the Council of the European Union is planning to appropriate to purchase armaments to escalate its war of extermination project. Even if the Ethiopian government spends the funding on approved projects, the funding can help them to redeploy any budgetary money that would have otherwise been used to fund those projects to prop up the country’s war time economy.

Everything we noted above is based on acts and statements that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and officials of the Ethiopian government have said in print or in news interviews. Mr. Mark Lowcock, the former head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, noted that “…the Ethiopian government was quite effective in slowing down the [famine] declaration system…”, thereby, denying lifesaving aid to millions of Tigrayans.

Similarly, in a testimony in front of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on May 5th, 2022, Samantha Powers, the current Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), noted that the Ethiopian Government was the only impediment preventing the delivery of live saving humanitarian aid to the people of Tigray. Therefore, without a fundamental change to the course the Ethiopian government is pursuing, SJT fears that any collaboration and financial support to Mr. Abiy Ahmed government will not alleviate the suffering of the poor but would only serve to tarnish the image of the Council of the European Union.

In the end, SJT urges the Council of the European Union to hold or stop the allocation of funds and stand against criminals and hold the government of Mr. Abiy Ahmed accountable for his genocidal acts as opposed to providing financial support. We anticipate the Council of the European Union to follow and enforce international laws.

Respectfully,
Teka Neguse, PharmD
President, Security & Justice for Tigrayans (SJT)
Tel: 443-537-3910 Email: sjte.info@gmail.com

By aiga

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