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Appealing to the World Conscience on behalf of Tigray         June 10, 2021

Tigray Global Advocacy Group (TGAG) Reaching Out to the World

We are a group of Ethiopians, originally from Tigray, organized under the banner of Tigray Global Advocacy Group (TGAG), advocating on behalf of the Tigray people who sustained genocide, crime against humanity, all sorts of atrocities including aggression and sexual violence against women in the last seven months.

We are appealing to the world conscience; more specifically to the US Congress, the European Parliament, the G7 countries, and the progressive forces across the board in our planet earth. This time, we are hopeful that the world will not only sympathize but also empathize with the people of Tigray and listen to their cry and feel their sufferings.

Our findings of the genocide and crime against humanity in Tigray have been corroborated by major media outlets such as CNN, BBC, Associated Press (AP), Reuters, the European External Program Africa, the International Committee on the Red Cross (ICRC), and Doctors without Borders, as well as overwhelming eyewitness accounts. The TGAG has compiled videos, still photos, articles, news dispatches, and relevant documentary evidence of the crimes committed against the people of Tigray.

Despite the violation of the Geneva Convention on genocide, however, the world was unable or unwilling to prosecute the perpetrators of the crime Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia and Isaias Afeworki of Eritrea. The TGAG strongly believes that the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea and the many military commanders down the bureaucratic ladder, as well as the Amhara militia leaders should be held accountable for the crimes they have committed in Tigray. These criminal elements are also using starvation as weapon of genocide by blocking aid to the civilians who needs it most; the Eritrean mercenaries, in fact, have burned down food-aid storages, destroyed the farm tools of the Tigrayan peasants so that they cannot be engaged in tilling their lands at the beginning of winter season in Tigray. As a result of all these criminal acts, famine is now hovering over Tigray and thousands can die while the world watches silently. This should not happen in Tigray and the world must act now!

However, although we have been dismayed and disconcerted by the indecision and lack of action of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), we have been gratified to witness the advocacy on behalf of Tigray by the EU Parliament and the US congress, most notably the recent US Senate Resolution (S.Res.97) and H.R. 445, both unanimous decisions of the 117th Congress.

We are also proud of some members of the US Congress, who took the initiative to instruct the State Department to undertake action against the crimes in the war-torn Tigray; in this regard, those who were at the forefront as exemplar-par-excellence are Congressman George W. Meeks (New York 5th District) and Michael McCaul (Texas 10th District). Their letter, in part, stated, We condemn in the strongest possible terms the reported atrocities and gross violation of human rights committed against civilians, including rape, torture, forced displacements and disappearances, acts of ethnic cleansing, extra-judicial killings, the looting and destruction of medical facilities, and restricted access to aid. We urge the Administration to utilize all available tools, including Global Magnitsky authorities, and other targeted sanctions, to hold parties accountable for their actions and bring an end to this crisis.

Given the above testimonials by media outlets, institutions, and governments, we are proud to witness that the people of Tigray are not alone, and their cause have indeed reverberated across the globe. Nevertheless, we have grave concerns vis--vis the barbaric, cruel, and unscrupulous behaviors of Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afeworki. Abiy Ahmed, particularly, has a grand strategy to employ the internationally banned napalm, the incendiary bomb which is highly flammable that can burn victims alive. The government of Ethiopia has already tried the white phosphorus and we have at our disposal a video of a young lady who became the victim of this illegal petrochemical agent.

Several months before the napalm incident, joint Eritrean and Ethiopian forces have used cluster bombs in the Samre-Gijet area of Tigray, where they have destroyed 500 homes at once. Now, as we dispatch this letter in anticipation of the 47th G7 Summit, June 11 to 13, 2021, the Abiy Ahmed government has brought 40 tons of phosphorus to Mekelle, the capital of Tigray, and if the world does not stop him, he would not hesitate to use the illegal deadly substance against innocent civilians in Tigray.

This time, we have confidence that the US, the EU, and the G7 countries can stop Abiy Ahmed from using cluster bombs and the incendiary napalm, and TGAG, in appreciation and in advance extends its gratitude to the world with conscience and sense of justice. The TGAG, however, underscores that white paper policies, reprimands, and embargos are not going to effectively end violence in Tigray; the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea defy all international laws and obligations and the only language they understand is force; therefore, either a UN mission must be sent to Tigray, or a US/EU military action should be employed in lieu of diplomacy.  

On behalf of TGAG,

Ghelawdewos Araia, PhD, Chair