Official Correspondence, Ref. No. UFEFCF 07/22
The UF urges a Peaceful All-Inclusive dialogue in Ethiopia whilst concerned about the disarming of Tigry Army without ensuring the safety and security of Tigrayans!
Press Statement on the Peace Agreement between the Ethiopian federal government and the Tigray regional government.
The United Forces (UF) strongly believes the war that was waged on Tigray on November 04, 2020 by the Ethiopia government allied with the Eritrean despotic dictator and the Amhara’s state Militia, Liyu Hayl and Fano; is the war waged on nations and nationalities of the country with the objective of dismantling the federal arrangement. This coupled with the invitation of the Eritrean national army to help the Ethiopia’s counterpart of wage war on own citizens did not only compromise the Ethiopia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; but also made it unique in the contemporary history.
Since the onset of the genocidal war and since PM Abiy Ahmed assumed power in April 2018, thousands of civilians in Agew, Kimant, Afar, Gambela, Benishangul Gumuz, Sidama, Oromia, Tigray, Somali and many parts of Ethiopia have needlessly lost their precious lives. The country’s economy is in a precarious situation as scarce resources were spent on unnecessary wars waged on own citizens. As the UN’s Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated in one of his press briefings, the country’s social fabric is ripped apart. This has manifested, among other things, when members of the Ethiopian State security apparatus and Amhara Fanos burnt human beings alive in a broad daylight.
Furthermore, the Ghent University documented more than 300 locations of massacres in Tigray alone where more than 600,000 civilians summarily executed. More than 2 million Tigrayans are internally displaced and left without any support including food, medicine and other basics under complete siege. Around 73, 000 Tigrayans crossed border to Sudan to save their lives. Over 80% of the health facilities in Tigray are destroyed and the equipment was ransacked by invading allied forces. Tigray’s infrastructures were decimated, and the entire economy incapacitated as services including banking, telecommunication, electricity, and various services were cut off since June 2021.
The UF would like to remind the international community and the stakeholders that; long before the start of the November 2020 war on Tigray; and ongoing War on Oromia since early 2019; the people and the government of Tigray, Oromo and other nations and nationalities have consistently called upon the government to resolve political differences of the country with civilized round table dialogue. Unfortunately, instead of finding lasting solutions to the cycles of violence; the Ethiopia’s PM becomes emboldened by the unchecked support of the international community who blindly followed on his false promises. Therefore, the Ethiopian PM and his party have closed every avenues that lead to a peaceful resolution of conflicts instead resorting to resolving all problems with military might to result in humanitarian and material crisis of an epic proportion.
Unfortunately, after painful losses of hundreds of thousands of lives whilst making several futile attempts to defeat TDF; the Ethiopian government seems to be submitting to international pressure thus went to beg these actors. Besides, the pain his regime recklessly caused and is causing to citizens may take decades to heal as the psychological trauma that was inflicted on millions of Tigrayans, Oromos, Benishangul and the rest of nation cannot be easily forgotten. To date they are re-stabbing the already wounded Tigrayans and Oromos with sharp dagger.
Therefore, the UF believes political differences that plunged the country into chaotic and vicious cycles of violence can only be lastingly addressed through all-inclusive political dialogue. Thus, the UF looks at the November 02, 2022’s Pretoria agreement and the subsequent implementation agreement signed in Nairobi- Kenya on 12 November 2022 as a positive step. Additionally, the UF acknowledges the cessation of hostilities between the Tigray army and ENDF following the signing of the agreement. Besides, to ensure the practicality of the agreement- the UF believes the first and foremost prerequisite needs to the unconditional removal and withdrawal of foreign and non ENDF forces from Tigray.
The UF reserves its right to strong reservation in the aspect of rushing the Tigray Army into disarmament without ensuring the safety and security of the people of Tigray. The UF records its grave concern that- if the Tigray Army is disarmed without removing those who have committed crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide on the people of Tigray from the Tigray soil; the consequences will equate to sentencing the Tigray people to death. Based on irrefutable evidence, the UF believes that the ENDF, the Eritrean counterpart and Amhara forces have collectively committed Genocide against the people of Tigray. The same allied forces are to date widely circulating in Tigray-indiscriminately killing civilians, raping women, and girls, looting, and pillaging civilian belongings and destroying civilian infrastructures.
Therefore, from their two or more years credentials and the current malicious plot to deceive the international community in the name of Pretoria peace deal whilst maintaining their grip onto Tigray soil’ committing the same crimes; we in the UF have more than enough justifications not to trust the untrustworthy trios who rejoice with the harrowing suffering of their own fellow citizens. The UF thus informs the Ethiopian nations and nationalities and the wider international community that our armed forces are the guardians of our people from the kind of allied forces aggressions that committed genocide on Tigray and committing on Oromia, Kemant, Benishangul, Agaw and elsewhere in Ethiopia. We strongly believe and advise that any attempt to disarm the Tigray Army, Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and other nations’ liberation armies; without guaranteeing their respective nations safety and security; will expose nations and nationalities to the kind of heartless, inhumane, and merciless massacre of noncombatant civilians.
Moreover, after a month since the indicated Pretoria agreement that unambiguously stated the importance of unfettered delivery of humanitarian aid, restoration of basic services none of these materialized to date. The Eritrean and Amhara forces are to date widely circulating in Tigray committing the same crimes. Tens of thousands of Tigrayans are languishing in various prisons throughout Ethiopia simply because they genetically belong to the people of Tigray. These all feed our doubt on the genuine implementation of the peace agreement.
In this regard, while the UF will do all in its power for the peace initiative to be upheld, it calls upon the international community and the Ethiopian government:
1. To urgently set up an all-inclusive political dialogue to resolve political differences peacefully.
2. To ensure the unconditional withdrawal of the Eritrean and Amhara forces from Tigray; and for failure to do so, the witnesses of agreement, including the US, UN, EU and the African Union to take tangible punitive measures.
3. To stop targeting of civilians by drones in Oromia where hundreds are getting slaughtered to date.
4. To allow long overdue unfettered humanitarian access to the needy and resume basic services to Tigray with immediate effect.
5. To back the Peace agreement with accountability for all crimes committed in Tigray and elsewhere in Ethiopia.
6. To allow the international Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia to access crime scenes and for the international media to access affected communities with possible process of legal incitement for any crimes committed to noncombatant civilian in Tigray mainly and in Oromia, Kemant, Benishangul, Agaw.
Issued by UF on 11 December 2022 For Immediate Release