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Open letter to To Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken

February 25, 2021

 

To Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken

2201 C St., NW Washington, DC 20520

 

RE: Urgent Call for Immediate Action to Stop Genocide in Tigray, Ethiopia

 

Dear Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken:

 

SJTE would like to thank the US State Department for the response letter from Mr. Robert F. Godec dated February 17, 2021. We also thank you for your expressed concern on the dire crisis in Tigray. In your letter, you have indicated that the United States continues to call for a complete end to the fighting in Tigray. However, it must be noted that the track record of Abiy Ahmed and his mentor President Isaias Afwerki does not show that they would accept any call for a peaceful resolution of the war in Tigray. Demolishing Tigray is part of their grand project to create a culture of tyranny in the entire Horn of Africa and become conquerors of the Horn.

 

SJTE is confident that the Biden Administration will play its leadership role in East Africa on the basis of USA’s cardinal values of human rights, democracy, and peace. But this effort of the US to stabilize and democratize the Horn of Africa will be proven impossible if PM Abiy Ahmed and President Isaias Afwerki are left unchallenged with the atrocities they are committing on Tigray as part of their grand project to neo-colonize East Africa. SJTE believes that the only way to stop the Genocide on Tigray is by taking commensurate stringent measures against PM Abiy Ahmed and President Isaias Afwerki.

 

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To this end, the USA, as the superpower, has responsibility to stop the ethnic-cleansing campaign on Tigray similar to what it did in Kosovo in 1999. On June 9, 1999, after 11 weeks of aerial bombing by NATO, dictator Slobodan Milosevic was forced to capitulate and end his ethnic-cleansing campaign in Kosovo. If the situation in Kosovo, which was minuscule compared to that of the current situation in Tigray, required the US led NATO military intervention, certainly the lives of the people of Tigray can only be spared by similar intervention. The belligerent governments in Eritrea and Ethiopia have defied adherence to the international community’s repeated calls. Nothing will stop them other than the international community’s committed and concerted unequivocal action. Soft diplomacy will not deter them and it is already proven to be maleficence.

 

SJTE thus urges the United States to use all available means in its power including coordinating UN peace keeping mission intervention by calling the UN Security Council to pass resolution on this to stop the ongoing genocide against the minority people of Tigray. The genocide is being perpetrated at alarming speed and dimension by the joint military forces of two dictators, the PM of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed Ali and the Eritrean President, Isaias Afwerki, whose records of crime against humanity on his people in Eritrea is known to the UN Human Rights Commission and the international community at large.

 

Dear Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken:

 

Since November 4, 2020, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, aided and abetted by President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea, has waged an all-out war against the people of Tigray. To date, as the bloody war rages on, innocent and defenseless children, women, and civilians are being exterminated with daily shelling, bombardment, pillaging, rape and other crimes by invading forces that include the Eritrean army, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) drones and Amhara Fano militia and special forces.

 

The threat posed by PM Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afwerki is an act of extermination and genocide. You know how many citizens were lost in Rwanda between the 7th of April and the 15th of July 1994, for which President Bill Clinton regretted and apologized for the inaction to stop the genocide. In Tigray, it has been almost 4 months since PM Abiy Ahmed and President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea have waged an all-out war, blocked all necessities, and have passed collective capital punishment on the people of Tigray through the instrumentality of mass starvation, bombing and displacement. The people of Tigray have no access to clean water, food, banking system, electricity, transportation, telecommunications, medical supplies, and independent media. Reports show that people are already dying of the government-planned starvation in Tigray. Once again, the world is witnessing genocide in the making in Tigray in its worst form and the silence of this UN body would be a grave mistake to be recorded in history after it failed in stopping the Rwanda genocide in 1994 and whether Africans receive the UN protection they deserve. 

 

In contravening Rule 53, starvation is being used as a method of war by the Abiy government of Ethiopia. The US and the United Nations have moral and legal obligation to stop this war.  Sanctions and travel bans should be imposed on the authorities and governments that are leading this genocidal war on the people of Tigray. The four main acts on the provisions highlighted within United Nation’s Responsibility to Protect (i.e., genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity) are currently being perpetrated against the people of Tigray. These four provisions are evident in Ethiopia by the actions of Abiy Ahmed and President Isias of Eritrea including but not limited to the: systematic profiling, harassment and detention of people based solely on their ethnic background.

 

Dear Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken:

 

As you may have recently heard, one of the greatest veteran diplomats in Africa, Mr. Seyoum Mesfin and his two colleagues were brutally murdered by the regime in Addis Ababa and the Eritrean security forces in a very secretive circumstance after they were taken prisoners from their homes in Mekelle, Tigray. One of the victims was a physically disabled and visually impaired veteran, the late Parliamentarian and former Whip of Government Asmelash Woldesellasie. Reports show that the extent of the extrajudicial killings of innocent civilians, particularly the youth in Tigray has increased at a very alarming rate in the past two weeks which if it is not stopped will lead to a catastrophic extermination of epic proportion.

 

We members of the SJTE herein urge the United States and its allies in the UN Security Council to prioritize addressing the urgent humanitarian crisis and the imminent risk of extermination of the people of Tigray by first and foremost focusing on the immediate removal or withdrawal of the Eritrean Army and other recommendations for your considerations for the:

i.       Immediate cessation of hostilities and commitment for the peaceful resolution of the crisis.

ii.      Enforcement of your call for the unconditional and immediate withdrawal of the Eritrean army (estimated at 300 to 350 thousands from Tigray villages and towns which is the culprit in hindering the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Tigray.

iii.    Immediate and unfettered access to international humanitarian aid (to avoid humanitarian catastrophe of 4.3 million people who are on the brink of starvation), media, and human rights organizations.

iv.    Immediate restoration of communications, medical supplies, electricity, banking, transportation and other public services in Tigray as part of the human rights monitoring tools by lifting the blackout throughout Tigray.

v.     Urgent dispatch of a UN mandated independent team to investigate war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide, committed by the combined Ethiopian and Eritrean armies and the UAE drones on Tigrayan civilians and the massacre and forced repatriation and conscription of Eritrean refugees (estimated at 100,000) residing in four camps in Tigray.

vi.    Deployment of UN Peacekeepers at the Eritrea-Ethiopia border to monitor Eritrean Army withdrawal, enforce peace and security of the people of Tigray, stop looting of Tigray livestock, industrial equipment, universities, and other war crimes at the border area.

vii.  Immediate cessation of hostilities and redeployment of the Ethiopian army troops from civilian centers in Tigray to stop massacre, looting, and rape of children and women; the immediate removal of government affiliated Amhara militias estimated at 120,000 from hostile Amhara ethnic group who are the prime suspects of the genocide at Mai Kadar, who are also engaged in looting businesses, farmlands, crops, livestock estimated at three million, raping children and women as well as ethnic cleansing by uprooting them from their ancestral lands and damping them across the Tekeze river and preventing the free passage or flow of refugees to the Sudan in order to hide genocide and other crimes committed by the Amhara militia from the media when they arrive in the Sudan.   

viii. Immediate release of all political prisoners who are victims of ethnic profiling, detention and removal from their jobs without due process and releasing of tens of thousands of military personnel of Tigray origin who are imprisoned in jails and barracks throughout the country.

ix.    Support UN Resolution for the establishment of Compensation Commission to investigate human and economic war crimes committed against the State of Tigray and its people.

x.      Support or recommend the establishment of a Transitional Government in Ethiopia with the full participation of the opposition parties and the administrative regions of the country for democratic transition by holding free and fair elections within two years’ time frame.

 

Respectfully,

 

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

 

CC:  1. Jacob Jeremiah Sullivan, National Security Advisor to the President,

         2. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Ambassador to the UN

         3. Susan Rice, domestic policy advisor to the President

         4. UN Security Council Members

     

Some latest reports from the US and European media on the war on Tigray

1.    We cannot allow Ethiopia to become this generation’s Rwanda: The conditions that led to ethnic cleansing in Rwanda are rapidly emerging in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2020/12/20/we-cannot-allow-ethiopia-to-become-this-generations-rwanda/

2.    Eritrean soldiers loot, kill in Ethiopia’s Tigray - The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/witnesses-eritrean-soldiers-loot-kill-in-ethiopias-tigray/2021/01/25/d625722c-5ee2-11eb-a177-7765f29a9524_story.html

3.    Report: Hospitals in Ethiopia's Tigray Struck by Artillery

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2021-01-09/report-hospitals-in-ethiopias-tigray-struck-by-artillery

4.    WHO Warns of Diseases Spreading in Tigray Because of Conflict | Voice of America – English https://www.voanews.com/africa/ethiopia-tigray/who-warns-diseases-spreading-tigray-because-conflict

5.    UN warns of ‘serious’ rape charges in Ethiopia’s Tigray – The Seattle Times
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/un-warns-of-serious-rape-charges-in-ethiopias-tigray/

6.    Ethiopians in the war-scarred north are dying from lack of healthcare services, are suffering food and water shortages, and remain “terrified”- aid agencies accessing remoter parts of Tigray.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ethiopia-conflict-idUSKBN29P0X1

7.    750 killed at Ethiopian Orthodox church said to contain Ark of the Covenant: The Christian Post

https://www.christianpost.com/news/750-killed-at-ethiopian-church-said-to-contain-ark-of-covenant.html

8.    Satellite Images Show Ethiopia Carnage as Conflict Continues

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-09/satellite-images-show-destruction-of-refugee-camps-in-ethiopia

9.    Ethiopia - Tigray Humanitarian Update Situation Report, 15Jan2021 – Ethiopia. ReliefWeb

https://reliefweb.int/report/ethiopia/ethiopia-tigray-region-humanitarian-update-situation-report-15-january-2021

10. Starvation crisis looms as aid groups seek urgent Tigray access- Al Jazeera

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/19/ethiopia-hesitant-to-allow-aid-agencies-into-tigray

11. Churches and mosques in Tigray 'vandalised and looted' in Ethiopian purge

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/01/17/churches-mosques-tigray-vandalised-looted-ethiopian-purge/

12. Major violations of international law at Tigray refugee camps: U.N. | Reuters

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ethiopia-conflict-un-idUSKBN29J2N6?taid=6000c010933c880001bc1036&utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

13. Images show latest 'attack' on Ethiopia refugee camp | Daily Mail Online

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-9156369/Images-latest-attack-Ethiopia-refugee-camp.html

 

 

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