Joint Press Release on the Ethiopian Government Violating the Humanitarian Truce
In the strongest possible terms, the undersigned organizations condemn the Ethiopian government’s recent military provocations against Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) in Tigray, breaching the humanitarian truce agreed upon by the Tigray and Ethiopian governments.
Despite evidence otherwise, the Ethiopian government has consistently sought to assure the international community of its commitment to the peace process and negotiations with the Tigray government. For instance, on August 17, 2022, foreign diplomats based in Addis Ababa were briefed by the Ethiopian government’s “Main Peace Committee” regarding the purported peace process. But two days before, the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) violated the humanitarian truce by conducting military operations in Tigray. On Monday, August 15, 2022, the ENDF shelled the TDF in Dedebit, Northwestern Tigray, using tanks and artillery. Although peace negotiations and mediation continue to be encouraged by the United Nations, African Union, European Union, and various countries and their envoys tasked with facilitating the peace process, it is undeniable that the Ethiopian government has no intentions for peace.
The Ethiopian (along with allied Eritrean and Amhara) governments have proven to be committed to war, evidenced by the following incidents since the announcement of the humanitarian truce:
- March 22, 2022 – Yilikal Kefale, president of the Amhara region, stated, “The Ethiopian National Defense Force is now in training to carry this out. It has been engaged in organizing, training and strengthening itself…the Amhara region is building a very large force.”
- March 28, 2022 – hundreds of Ethiopian troops were moved into Kobo in the Amhara region.
- April 7, 2022 – Eritrean general Humed Karkari signed a military agreement with Afar regional president Awel Araba;
- April 14, 2022 – reports surfaced of the Eritrean government conscripting Eritreans to join the war.
- April 17, 2022 – the Afar Federalist Diaspora coordination group reported that 150 containers of ammunition entered Afar through Djibouti.
- April 23, 2022 – ENDF Chief of Staff Berhanu Jula gave an interview on ESAT, a channel that has openly called for genocide against Tigrayans, and admitted that the government was planning to continue the war.
- April 30, 2022 – Abiy Ahmed and Amhara regional president, and other high-level officials visited ENDF’s Southern, Eastern, 6th, and 8th Commands.
- May 7, 2022 – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed reviewed military bases and preparedness of the Western Command in the Amhara region with federal and regional officials and ENDF generals.
- May 10, 2022 – Yilikal Kefale stated, “I am sure that you, our security forces, using this expression of gratitude and recognition as an encouragement, will wipe out the rest of the force that is a cancer to our country’s security and peace.”
- May 11, 2022 – the Ethiopian government approved a 5-year military agreement with Turkey for $6.3M, which includes intelligence and military training.
- May 24, 2022 – the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF), allies of the Ethiopian government, launched an unwarranted offensive against the TDF.
- May 28 and 29, 2022 – the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF) shelled Shiraro, Tigray, with some rounds hitting a school housing displaced families, according to humanitarian organizations. The shelling killed a 14-year-old girl, injured over 18 civilians, and damaged 12 houses. Other incidents of the EDF attacking the TDF have also been reported since the humanitarian truce was announced.
- June 1, 2022 – a United Arab Emirates (UAE) air force aircraft was seen flying in and out of Ethiopia’s main Air force base, Harar Meda, in Bishoftu, raising alarms on military preparations.
- June 3, 2022 – Abiy Ahmed traveled to Bale, Oromia, with the AU’s High Representative for the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo. During the visit, Abiy shared on state-owned media that the siege on Tigray had been successful, while the European Union’s Ambassador to Ethiopia warned that a humanitarian truce is not meant to prepare for another war.
- June 4, 2022 – The Head of Amhara regional state Communication Bureau put out a call to recruit young men to enlist to safeguard the unity of Ethiopia.
- July 6, 2022 – Chief of Staff of Ethiopia’s National Army, Berhanu Jula, attended an event organized by the 8th division of Ethiopia’s army, where he said his forces are “more ready than ever to fight Tigray’s armed forces.”
- August 7, 2022 – Ethiopian Deputy Chief of General Staff Abebaw Tadesse of the Ethiopian National Defense Force visited Ethiopian army positions in Gondar bordering TIgray.
- August 20, 2022 – Ethiopian troops pouring into Tigray’s southern border are observed
- August 20, 2022 – State-owned Ethiopian Press Agency published an article stating “TPLF will be buried soon”.
The Ethiopian government must be held responsible for its military aggression that violated the truce. The prospect of renewed fighting will be devastating with its attendant consequences not just impacting Tigray alone but with grave ramifications to the peace and stability of Ethiopia and the wider Horn of Africa. Furthermore, the violation of the humanitarian truce could cause more human suffering and death in Tigray, which has been under siege for almost two years without essential services, such as telecommunication, banking, electricity, and access to humanitarian assistance with an exceeding horrific death toll of over 500,000. Therefore, the international community must make concerted efforts to bring about peace in Ethiopia and end the war in Tigray by demanding an end to the siege, unfettered humanitarian access, the withdrawal of invading forces, including Eritrean and Amhara forces, from Tigray, unrestricted travel of international investigators and journalists, and a negotiated ceasefire and dialogue.
- Omna Tigray
- Tigray Center for Information and Communication
- Legacy Tigray
- Health Professionals Network for Tigray
- Security and Justice for Tigrayans
- The Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals (GSTS)
- Rescue Tigrayan Rape Victims
- Giving Back To Our Roots
- Health Professionals and Supporters for Tigray
- Tigray Association in Toronto
- Association of Tigrayan Communities in Canada
- Tigrayan Canadian Society of Saskatchewan
- Manitoba Tegaru Youth
- Tegaru Belgium
- Tigrayan Canadians Cultural Society in Edmonton (TCCSE)
- Australian Tigray Alliance (ATA)
- United Tegaru Canada
- Tigray Action Committee (TAC)
- Irob Anina Civil Society
- Stand With Tigray (SWT)
- Tigray Youth Network (TYN)
- Tigrayan Advocacy and Development Association (TADA)
- Giovani Tigrini Italiani
- Tigrai Global Advocacy Group (TGAG)
- Alliance of Tigray Association in the Diaspora (ATAD)
- Association of Tigray Community in Uganda
- Association of Tigray Community in Kenya
- Association of Tigray Community in South Sudan
- Association of Tigray Community in Rwanda
- Association of Tigray Community in Zambia
- Association of Tigray Community in Republic of South Africa
- Ethiopian Candianas for Peace
- Union of Tigrians in North America (UTNA)
- Tegaru Youth of the Carolinas (TYC)
- Tigrayan Women’s Association of the Carolinas
- Tegaru Women For Tigray (TWT)
- Tigray Äthiopischer Verein in Deutschland e.V.
- Tigray Frauenverein in Deutschland e.V.
- Tigray kultur verein in Deutschland e.V.
- Tigray Gemeinde der Kriegsgeschädigten in Deutschland e.V.
- Al Nejashi Tigray Germany e.V.
- Tigray Gesellschaft Nordrhein-Westfalen e.V.
- Tigray community in Switzerland
- Communauté Tigree Vaud
- Tigrean National Association in Sweden ( Tigreanska riks föreningen)
- Tigrean Women Association in Sweden (Tigreanska kvinnors förening i Sverige)
- Vereniging van Ethiopische Tigreërs in Nederland
- Vereniging Tigrai Development Association in Nederland (TDA NL)
- Vereniging Van Tigray Nederland
- Tigrayan Women Association in Netherlands
- Tigrean National Association in Sweden ( Tigreanska riks föreningen)
- Union of Tigrayans in Belgium
- Tigray Hjelpen
- Tinsae Tigray Kvinneforening
- Association D’Entraide de tigréen en France
- Association Developement de Tigray (ADT)
- Forum delle Associazioni Tigrine in Italia
- Associazione Comunità Del Tigray – Bologna – Emilia-Romagna ODV (Italy)
- Associazione Comunità Tigray in Toscana (A.C.T.T, Italy)
- Associazione Culturale e Promozione Sociale Della Comunità Tigray in Bari (Italy)
- Associazione Donne Del Tigray di Roma (APS, Italy)
- Associazione Per Lo Sviluppo del Tigrai (A.S.T, Rome, Italy)
- Associazione Promozione Sociale Tigrini Nord Italia (Italy)
- Geza Tegaru Friuli-Venezia Giulia (FVG) (Italy)
- Tigrayan Scholars in Italy (TSI, Italy)
- Solidarity of Nations
Omna Tigray – Press Release, August 22, 2022