Community Letter in Response to Ethiopia’s Continued Siege of Tigray
On the occasion of the recent declaration of a “humanitarian truce” issued by the Ethiopian Government on March 24, 2022, we, the undersigned Tigrayan and ally advocacy and philanthropic groups, strongly condemn the continued siege of Tigray.
In a recent statement addressing the current humanitarian situation, the FDRE Government Communication Services granted several international humanitarian organizations air transportation access. Air transportation, however, cannot be considered a viable option for solving the humanitarian crisis in Tigray as it is more costly and delivers limited supplies. The Ethiopian Government has attributed the lack of humanitarian aid delivered by ground transport to the fighting in Abala, Afar. However, this is an unsatisfactory explanation as Tigray has multiple entry points. The government’s use of fighting to excuse why aid trucks destined for Tigray remain in Afar further demonstrates the federal government’s lack of desire to alleviate the humanitarian catastrophe in Tigray tangibly.
In reality, the Ethiopian government has made little demonstrable efforts to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance to Tigray. A region where over 900,000 civilians are experiencing famine conditions. On April 1st, only 13 trucks carrying food aid entered Mekele, the capital of Tigray. On April 16th, a convoy of 47 trucks carrying life-sustaining supplies arrived in Mekelle, proving inadequate to save millions of Tigrayan civilians. Aid convoys merely trickle in when an estimated 100 trucks a day are required to meet the needs of Tigrayan civilians. The reality is approximately 5% of required aid has reached Tigray over the past three weeks, according to Sarah Charles, USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance Lead. The United Nations estimates that over 90% of 5.2 million people in Tigray need food aid. Action is needed now!
- Emphatically denounce the use of weaponized famine to subjugate a people; it violates the 1949 Geneva Conventions, Additional Protocol I (API), which states “starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited.”
- Denounce the presence of Amhara and Eritrean forces on Tigrayan soil.
We demand that international actors:
- Impose sanctions on various Ethiopian goods until humanitarian corridors are entirely unrestricted.
- Treat the Ethiopian government as a belligerent to the conflict and the principal party accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and other atrocities, including weaponized famine.
- Establish a strict Monitoring, Verification, and Reporting Mechanism to implement any further agreement on humanitarian access.
- Establish a mechanism to ensure the immediate, verifiable, and permanent cessation of all forms of hostilities, the total withdrawal of all external forces, including Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Amhara forces from all parts of Tigray.
- Empower and grant full access of Tigray to the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) to ensure an independent investigation and accountability for crimes against humanity committed against the Tigrayan people.
- Impose financial consequences on Amhara and Eritrean party leaders with dual citizenship in the West.
- Omna Tigray
- Tigray Center for Information and Communication
- Irob Anina Civil Society
- Tigray Youth Network
- Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals
- Dekna Foundation
- Tigray Adey
- Health Professionals Network for Tigray
Tigray Action Committee
- Security and Justice for Tigrayans
- Giovani Tigrini Italiani
- Stand With Tigray
- The Union of Tigrayans in Belgium
- Tigray Unity Germany
Peace In Tigray Denmark
- Tigray Relief Sweden
- Jewish World Watch
OMNA Tigray – Press Release, April 21st, 2022