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Stop the Atrocities in Tigray — Global Issues

Seven highly respected conflict resolution leaders called on Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to take immediate action to end atrocities in his country's Tigray region.
The rugged landscape of Tigray, Ethiopia’s northernmost region, stretches north and into Eritrea. The Tigray region has been rocked by conflict since November 2020. Credit: James Jeffrey / IPS
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It was written by José Ramos Horta, former President of Timor-Leste and 1996 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and five other international diplomats and peacemakers, “colleagues and friends the Prime Minister knows well” , including former Finnish President Tarja Halonen, former United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, Bishop Emeritus of Oslo and former Vice Chairman of the Nobel Committee, Dr Gunnar Stalsett, former Chairman from Slovenia and former Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and Chairman of the World Leadership Alliance Danilo Turk, and former Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and Special Envoy for Genocide Prevention Adama Dieng.

The letter notes that “serious human rights violations and abuses are committed against Tigrayan civilians, including extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, looting and destruction of property, mass executions, arbitrary arrests, rapes, displacement. forced populations, hate speech and stigma, especially ethnic. profiling. These attacks have prompted tens of thousands of Tigrayan children and adults to flee their homes and seek refuge in Sudan under extremely deplorable conditions.

“As a result of this conflict, according to the United Nations, approximately 4.5 million of a population of 6 million people are in immediate need of humanitarian assistance,” he said. “Between two and 2.5 million people in the region will experience severe food insecurity until September. The media around the world are also increasingly writing horrific stories of rape, torture and mass arrests. ”

It is reminiscent of Abiy’s own words, taken from his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize two years ago, “there are those who have never seen war, but glorify and romanticize it.” They didn’t see the fear. They did not see the fatigue. They didn’t see the destruction or the sorrow, nor did they feel the dismal void of war after the carnage. ”

Specifically, leaders urge Prime Minister Ahmed to:

1. Act now and quickly to save his country and end the suffering of Ethiopians afflicted by the war in Tigray.

2. Invite independent and credible investigations, in full cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, into human rights abuses and violations of international human rights law and humanitarian law by all actors in Tigray. We encourage the Prime Minister to ensure that other human rights organizations have access to independently investigate reports of human rights abuses and violations in Tigray.

3. Consider establishing a hybrid tribunal empowered to hold Eritrean perpetrators of war crimes accountable.

4. Fully cooperate with regional organizations and the international community to facilitate inclusive dialogue, reconciliation and healing, involving all political and civil society actors in Tigray with the aim of charting a consensual path for future governance. of the region.

5. Lead calls for a cessation of hostilities by all parties involved and encourage other parties to commit to an immediate end to the fighting. Lobby for the immediate and verifiable withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara regional forces from the Tigray region.

6. Make the work of international humanitarian personnel easier, including issuing long-term visas, speeding up the process of importing and using satellite communication technology by humanitarian organizations, and asking your military and allied forces establish a civil-military coordination cell to facilitate the work of humanitarian organizations in the field.

7. Issue orders to protect all civilians in Tigray and throughout Ethiopia, regardless of ethnicity, including refugees and internally displaced persons, and especially women, in the light numerous reports of sexual and gender-based violence.

“It is clear that like all wars, the political dispute that led to the Tigray crisis cannot be resolved by military means alone,” he said. “The suffering inflicted on the people of the region is already too great. For the good of Ethiopia, and the good of the region and the world, we call on the Prime Minister to work for a political solution as soon as possible. It is only through dialogue and negotiation that lasting peace can be established and the healing of so many people can begin. ”

There has been no response to date from Prime Minister Abiy.

Read the letter

SIGNATORIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR COMMENTS AND DISCUSSION.

© Inter Press Service (2021) – All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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