Washington Update: Deteriorating Human Rights Situation in Ethiopia

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Reporters and politicians in the United States seem to have forgotten the atrocities and human rights violations committed by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) when they were in power in Ethiopia, but the Ethiopian people cannot forget. All over Ethiopia, people have taken to the streets to demonstrate and denounce the announcement of a combination of terrorist organizations with the TPLF against Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s Tigray rebels have joined forces with other armed and opposition groups in a new escalation of a war that threatens to tear the country apart.

The Ethiopian Parliament has designated these groups, organizations including the OLF/Shenne which has massacred Amhara civilians, as terrorists. The massacre of civilians at Guliso Woreda, West Wolega Zone, was orchestrated by the OLF- Shene group and TPLF, Oromia State President Shimelis Abdisa said.

Ethiopian-Americans demonstrated in front of the White House on Monday November 8 to denounce the Biden administration’s policy towards Ethiopia and to demand a reversal in a policy that treats the TPLF aggressors as victims.

The deteriorating human rights situation in Ethiopia is a tragedy that the U.S. and world cannot ignore.

Ethiopians are united in opposing a return to power by the TPLF. The President of the Somali regional state Mustefa Omer has demanded an apology from TPLF officials for the mass killings that took place in various parts of the state during the TPLF-led Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) rule. “This is the place. It is one of the places where grave human rights violations were committed to Somali people by TPLF officials. Here is one of the graveyards where nine members of a family were murdered by the TPLF,” said the president in a video message.

TPLF atrocities are not relegated to the past. Following the unilateral ceasefire declared by the federal government in June 2021, there have been hundreds of killings, brutal attacks and rapes in areas occupied by the TPLF. Briefing the media, Ethiopia Justice State Minister Fekadu Tsega said the terrorist group carried out large-scale atrocities on civilians in violation of international laws in South and North Gondar zones of the Amhara region as well as Galykoma Kebele of Afar region.

The conflict is causing man made famine. According to the World Food Programme, over a million people in Ethiopia are in dire need of food.

After the immediate conflict has been calmed, Ethiopians must take steps to avoid future conflicts. Peace and stability depend on abandoning the ideology of ethnic division and launching a project to revise the Ethiopian constitution. The present constitution was created to exacerbate ethnic divisions. It will lead to the destruction of Ethiopia.

Ethiopian-Americans ask the U.S. Congress and the administration to review its policy towards Ethiopia and request the TPLF to remove its arsenal and fighters from Amhara, Afar and other parts of Ethiopia before any negotiations for peaceful settlement occur.

Mesfin Mekonen
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