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Barbaric Abiy regime in Ethiopia, today, Tuesday 22nd June, bombed Tigray civilians

ImageBreaking News: Barbaric Abiy regime in Ethiopia, today, Tuesday 22nd June, bombed Tigray civilians in a market place, 'Edaga Selus', (Tuesday Market) near Mekelle. Sources confirm there are many casualties. Z regime also denied access to ICRC ambulances that were heading to help.


"On 4 November 2020 the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia launched a military offensive against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF)," AU

Commission has been following the developments in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, with concern. On 4 November 2020 the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia launched a military offensive against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), this was followed by attacks on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces by the TPLF on the same day.

Following reports and information received regarding alleged human rights violations in the Tigray region, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the ACHPR), issued a Press Statement on 26 November 2020, condemning the attack, and reminding the parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The said Press Statement also urged parties to engage in dialogue with a view to finding lasting, peaceful and mutually acceptable solutions in the best interests of the population.

Noting that the situation continued to unfold without any signs of abating, during its 67th Ordinary Session held virtually, the ACHPR adopted a Resolution: ACHPR/Res.469 (LXVII) 2020 on the Situation in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, condemning the use of force, and calling on the Government of Ethiopia to take actions to protect the human rights of the populations affected and to take concrete steps to end the conflict.

On 9 March 2021, following a meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) held, in which the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, His Excellency Mr. Abiy Ahmed expressed its willingness to engage the ACHPR to conduct investigations into the ongoing crisis in the Tigray Region, jointly with its Ethiopian National Human Rights Institution, the African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson His Excellency Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat (Chairperson) invited the ACHPR to exercise its mandate to initiate an investigation.

During its 32nd Extra-Ordinary Session, held virtually on 12 May 2021, the ACHPR adopted a Resolution on the Fact-Finding Mission to the Tigray Region of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, (see Website), and decided pursuant to Article 45(2) read together with Article 46 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (The African Charter), to establish a Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the situation in the Tigray Region.


"When I met the Ethiopian leadership in February they really used this kind of language, that they are going to destroy the Tigrayans, they are going to wipe out the Tigrayans for 100 years and so forth"

EU envoy: Ethiopian leadership vowed to 'wipe out' Tigrayans
FILE - In this Thursday, May 27, 2021 file photo, Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto speaks with the media in Lisbon. A European Union envoy says Ethiopia’s leaders told him in closed-door talks earlier this year that “they are going to wipe out the Tigrayans for 100 years.” The envoy, Pekka Haavisto, Finland's foreign minister, says such an aim “looks for us like ethnic cleansing.” Haavisto spoke in a question-and-answer session Tuesday, June 15 with a European Parliament committee. (AP Photo/Armando Franca, file)
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Ethiopia's leaders in closed-door talks with a European Union special envoy earlier this year said 'they are going to wipe out the Tigrayans for 100 years," the envoy said this week, warning that such an aim 'looks for us like ethnic cleansing."

The remarks by Pekka Haavisto, Finland's foreign minister, describing his talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other ministers in February are some of the most critical yet of the Ethiopian government's conduct of the conflict in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region. They came in a question-and-answer session Tuesday with a European Parliament committee.

Ethiopia's foreign ministry dismissed Haavisto's comments as 'ludicrous" and a 'hallucination of sorts or a lapse in memory of some kind."

Haavisto's special adviser, Otto Turtonen, told The Associated Press that the envoy 'has no further comment on this matter."

For months, Haavisto has served as the EU's special envoy on Ethiopia. In February he said he had 'two intensive days in substantive meetings" with Abiy - the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2019 - and other 'key ministers" about the growing humanitarian crisis in Tigray, where thousands of civilians have been killed and famine has begun in a region of some 6 million people. Ethiopian and allied forces from neighboring Eritrea have been accused of atrocities while pursuing fighters supporting Tigray's former leaders.

It is not clear from Haavisto's remarks this week which Ethiopian officials made the comments about wiping out ethnic Tigrayans.

'When I met the Ethiopian leadership in February they really used this kind of language, that they are going to destroy the Tigrayans, they are going to wipe out the Tigrayans for 100 years and so forth," the envoy said.

'If you wipe out your national minority, well, what is it?" Haavisto added. 'You cannot destroy all the people, you cannot destroy all the population in Tigray. And I think that's very obvious, that we have to react, because it looks for us like ethnic cleansing. It is a very, very serious act if this is true."

In comments shortly after those February meetings, Haavisto had warned that the crisis in Tigray appeared to be spiraling out of control.

The United Nations human rights office has said all sides in the conflict have been accused of abuses, but witnesses have largely blamed Ethiopian and Eritrean forces for forced starvation, mass expulsions, gang rapes and more.

Haavisto's remarks emerged as Ethiopia prepares to vote in a national election on Monday, the first major test at the polls for Abiy as he seeks to centralize power under his Prosperity Party.

Abiy was awarded the Nobel a year after he took office and introduced dramatic political reforms while sidelining Tigray leaders who had dominated Ethiopia's government for years in a coalition with other ethnic-based parties. Months of growing tensions between Abiy's government and Tigray's ruling party followed, and the prime minister in November accused Tigray forces of attacking a military base.

The EU and the United States have been outspoken about Tigray, with the U.S. last month announcing it has started restricting visas for government and military officials of Ethiopia and Eritrea who are seen as undermining efforts to resolve the fighting.

The U.S. earlier this year asserted that ethnic cleansing is occurring in western Tigray. The term refers to forcing a population from a region through expulsions and other violence, often including killings and rapes.

'It is critical that leaders within the EU are raising the alarm bell," Human Rights Watch researcher Laetitia Bader told the AP. 'There is now ample evidence of widespread atrocities having been committed against civilians in Tigray. ... But so far the international response is nowhere near matching the magnitude of the crisis."

She called on the EU to take 'further concrete steps, bilaterally and in international fora, to prevent further atrocities and human suffering."



The Post's View

Opinion: Starvation has become a weapon of war in Ethiopia. U.S. action is urgent.
Opinion by the Editorial Board
June 15, 2021 at 1:31 p.m. EDT
FOR MONTHS, humanitarian agencies have been warning that famine could spread in the Ethiopian region of Tigray if government forces and allied troops from neighboring Eritrea did not end a brutal campaign to subjugate the area. Now that emergency has arrived. U.N. agencies reported last week that more than 350,000 of Tigray's 6 million people are living in famine conditions, and 2 million more are at risk. Some 140,000 of those facing starvation are children, according to UNICEF, which says 33,000 are at imminent risk of death.
This humanitarian catastrophe, which U.N. officials say could rival the epic Ethiopian famine of 1984 if not arrested, is a deliberate result of the military campaign waged in Tigray since late last year by the government of Abiy Ahmed and the allied Eritrean regime of Isaias Afwerki. According to U.S. and U.N. officials and press reporting, the forces of the two governments have burned farmers' fields and stores and slaughtered or stolen livestock. They have also systematically blocked aid deliveries to the parts of Tigray not under government control. Eritrean forces, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator Mark Lowcock said last week, are "trying to deal with the Tigrayan population by starving them." Food, he told the Reuters news agency, "is definitely being used as a weapon of war."
Forced starvation of children is only the latest atrocity Ethiopian and Eritrean forces have resorted to in what, so far, has been a failed effort to crush the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which has controlled the region for decades and dominated Ethiopia's government until Mr. Abiy came to power in 2018. The United Nations has also reported mass rapes of women, massacres of civilians and ethnic cleansing. More than 2 million people have fled their homes, leaving their fields behind. Tigrayan men are being rounded up and summarily executed.

The United States and other Western governments have attempted in vain to stop this scorched-earth assault. Secretary of State Antony Blinken began publicly demanding the withdrawal of Eritrean and Ethiopian militia forces from Tigray soon after taking office; Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), a confidant of President Biden, was sent to lobby the Ethiopian ruler. Last month, Mr. Blinken announced visa sanctions against Ethiopian and Eritrean officials involved in abuses or the blocking of food aid. The European Union and United States have suspended hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.
None of it has worked. Mr. Abiy promised in March that Eritrean troops would leave Tigray, but they are still there. So are Amhara militias from a neighboring Ethiopian region that have engaged in ethnic cleansing as well as blocking food. Journalists reporting on the atrocities have been arrested or expelled from the country. Meanwhile, China and Russia have blocked action by the U.N. Security Council, which - to its shame - has yet to publicly meet on the Tigrayan crisis.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, is among those warning of another massive Ethiopian famine. "We cannot make the same mistake twice," she said last week. "We cannot let Ethiopia starve." Mr. Blinken pledged "further actions from the United States" if "those responsible" for the crisis did not "reverse course.
" Though Ethiopia has been a valuable U.S. ally, the Biden administration now has no choice but to take that action.

G7 calls for immediate cessation of hostilities in Tigray region

Sun, June 13, 2021, 9:17 AM

CARBIS BAY, England, June 13 (Reuters) - The Group of Seven wealthiest economies called on Sunday for an immediate end to hostilities in Ethiopia's Tigray region.

"We are deeply concerned by the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region and reports of an unfolding major humanitarian tragedy," said a communique issued following a leaders' summit in Britain.

"We call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, unimpeded humanitarian access to all areas and the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces."

Fighting broke out in the region in November between government troops and the region's former ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). Troops from neighboring Eritrea also entered the conflict to support the Ethiopian government. (Reporting by William James, editing by Elizabeth Piper)
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