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November 9, 2020                                         

Ghelawdewos Araia,PhD

IDEA, President                                                                                         


The UN Security Council

405 East 42nd Street

New York, NY 10017


Subject: The Bombardment of the Regional State of Tigray of Ethiopia

The Institute of Development and Education for Africa (IDEA) is deeply concerned of the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia, particularly the war that has been declared on Tigray by the Abiy Ahmed-led federal government on November 4, 2020, and since the official declaration of war on its own people, the regime’s air force has been bombarding several civilian areas in Tigray. The main purpose of this letter, thus, is to appeal to the UN Security Council to immediately intervene in the meaningless war and rescue Ethiopians from aerial bombardment and from carnage.

We at IDEA are aware that bombardment of civilian areas is prohibited by international law; more specifically, we are aware that “in 1977, Protocol I was adopted as an amendment to the Geneva Conventions, prohibiting the deliberate or indiscriminate attack of civilians and civilian objects, even if the area contained military objectives, and the attacking force must take precautions and steps to spare the lives of civilians and civilian objects.”

On top of the 1977 Protocol I, there is one clause (Article 25) in the Hague convention of 1907 that is also relevant to our present appeal: “The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of town, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.”

IDEA has learned that the present regime, whose term in office has expired and is continuing its authority by fiat, has no regard whatsoever for the safety of its citizens; it has no action when thousands upon thousands of Ethiopians were being attacked and terrorized by unknown gunmen, and the bombardment of Tigray now is a manifestation of the carelessness, indifference, and ineptitude of the Abiy Ahmed government.

IDEA is also aware that the Security Council is entrusted, first and foremost, to maintain peace and security and more specifically to undertake investigation and mediation, dispatch a mission, appoint special envoys, and request the Secretary-General, to undertake action in the peaceful resolution of disputes.

However, since the war between the Ethiopian Federal Government and the Regional State of Tigray has been raging for the last five days and it is highly probable that it is going to escalate, we at IDEA appeal to the Security Council to intervene and dispatch military observers or a peacekeeping force to either mitigate the conflict or altogether establish peaceful settlement to the dispute. The Security Council should move fast to prevent and avoid carnage and human catastrophe in Ethiopia, at a time when Ethiopians are yearning for peace and prosperity; at a time when Ethiopian school children were about to resume classroom attendance in spite of the OVID-19 challenge; and at a time when Ethiopian peasants and farmers were ready to collect their crops during this harvest season