Letter to the President of the United States from Mekete Tigray UK – Community of Tigrayan Diaspora in the UK and Europe on Averting Famine in Tigray, Ethiopia; the Urgency of Eritrean and Amhara Forces Withdrawal from Tigray; and the Full Implementation of the Pretoria Peace Agreement

Feb 17, 2024 | News

Subject – Averting Famine in Tigray, Ethiopia; the Urgency of Eritrean and Amhara Forces Withdrawal from Tigray; and the Full Implementation of the Pretoria Peace Agreement

      Dear Mr President,

1.      We, concerned UK citizens and residents of Tigrayan Ethiopian origin – organised under an independent, open, democratic and all-inclusive charitable and humanitarian platform of Mekete Tigray UK – are demonstrating here today in front of the US Embassy in London, and are writing from afar to the US Government to convey our grave concern about the prevalence of hunger and starvation and the looming famine in Tigray.  After three years of genocidal war and siege, Tigrayans are dying in their thousands from hunger and starvation.  The spectre of famine is stalking Tigray once again and Tigrayans are dying in silence.  As in 1984/85, the famine today is being denied by the Ethiopian Government.  Unlike the 1984/85 famine there is very little media coverage so many lives are perishing in silence and unseen. For the Ethiopian Government hunger and starvation is the continuation of the war by other means.

 2.      The curtailment of humanitarian assistance to Tigray and Ethiopia at large by USAID and the World Food Programme for nearly one year has resulted in the death of thousands of Tigrayans. Whilst it is legitimate to ensure humanitarian assistance is not diverted from its intended beneficiaries, it is unjust and cruel collective punishment of the millions of starving people to completely stop it on the grounds of the illegal diversion of humanitarian aid. We believe it is inconsistent with the principle of justice that claims to value saving the life of one innocent person even at the expense of freeing the many guilty. Instead it is tantamount to punishing the deserving many in order to prevent the illegal profiteering of the few.

 3.      We are very concerned about the fragile and partial peace status currently prevailing in Tigray, Ethiopia. Moreover, we are appalled and horrified by the US Government lifting of human rights violation designation on Ethiopia when mass atrocities are still being committed in Tigray, and when over 2 million Internally Displaced Tigrayans have been deliberately prevented from returning to their homes and are languishing in IDP camps. According to Human Rights Watch: “The November truce in northern Ethiopia has not brought about an end to the ethnic cleansing of Tigrayans in Western Tigray Zone,” saidLaetitia Bader, deputy African director at Human Rights Watch in its 1 June 2023 Report on Tigray. Furthermore, the HRW demands that: “If the Ethiopian government is really serious about ensuring justice for abuses, then it should stop opposing independent investigations into the atrocities in Western Tigray and hold abusive officials and commanders to account.”

4.      The US must not forget that up to one million Tigrayans have perished and hundreds of thousands of Tigrayan women and girls have been sexually violated in the Tigray conflict. Over two million are internally displaced and the socio-economic fabric of Tigray has been decimated. To our horror and to date, no single perpetrator has been brought to face justice.

 5.      We are committed to and support the Pretoria Peace Agreement that respects the full rights of the Tigrayan people for self-determination including self-rule and the territorial integrity of Tigray according to the Constitution of Ethiopia, and the provision of full and unfettered humanitarian access.

 6.      We support and appreciate the role of the US Government and its allies for supporting and brokering the Peace Agreement. Similarly, we are grateful for the US’s support in providing humanitarian assistance to the victims of war. We also support, notwithstanding its limitations, US sanctions against the regimes in Ethiopia and Eritrea with a view to ending the silent genocide in Tigray.

 7.      We are, however, appalled by the discontinuation of the UNHRC sponsored investigation, by the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE), of mass atrocities that have been committed during the conflict. Whilst mindful and being appreciative of the USA government position that ethnic cleansing, crime against humanity and war crimes were committed in Tigray, we are, however, saddened and appalled that the perpetrators of those crimes have not been held accountable to date.

 8.      We are very concerned that the US Government and its allies, as guarantors or supporters of the Peace Agreement, are failing to duly urge and pressurise the Ethiopian Regime to fully implement the Peace Agreement. Moreover, the US and its allies appear not to take bold actions to force or pressurise the despotic Eritrean regime of Isaias Afewerki forces to withdraw from Tigray. There is no urgency or bold actions by the US Government to end the active and silent Tigray Genocide.  This is against humanity and would discredit US Foreign Policy on Ethiopia and the wider Horn of Africa.

 9.      Finally, we urge and plead that the US Government and its partners provide emergency humanitarian assistance to avert famine in Tigray and to take all available measures to ensure the full implementation of the Pretoria Peace Agreement and end the tragedy of the Tigray Genocide. We trust that the US Government will do much more of what is morally, politically and legally right to address the silent and active tragedy of the Genocidal war in Tigray. We have attached below an electronic copy of this email. The Petitioners of this Letter – Ethiopian Tigrayans in the UK – can be contacted at the above-referred Email and Address. We gratefully look forward to hearing from your excellency, and we thank you very much for your time.

Most respectfully,

Mekete Tigray UK,

(Community of Tigrayan Diaspora in the UK and Europe)



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