The rugged landscape of Tigray, the northernmost region of Ethiopia, extends in the north to Eritrea. The Tigray region has been shaken by conflicts since November 2020. Photo credit: James Jeffrey / IPSDILI, Jun 11 (IPS) – Seven highly respected conflict resolution leaders have urged Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to take immediate action to halt the atrocities committed in his country’s Tigray region become. The letter calls on the Prime Minister to take seven steps to resolve the crisis.
It was written by José Ramos-Horta, former President of Timor-Leste and 1996 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and five other international diplomats and peacemakers, “colleagues and friends the Prime Minister knows well”. Among them the former president of Finland Tarja Halonen, the former special envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, the emeritus Bishop of Oslo and the former vice-chairman of the Nobel Committee Dr. Gunnar Stalsett, Former President of Slovenia and Former UN Deputy Secretary-General and President of the World Leadership Alliance Danilo Turk and Former UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Envoy for Genocide Prevention Adama Dieng.
The letter stated that “civilian Tigrayans have committed serious human rights abuses and human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, looting and property destruction, mass executions, arbitrary arrests, rape, forced relocation, hate speech and stigma, including ethnic” profiling. These attacks have resulted in tens of thousands of Tigrayan children and adults fleeing their homes and seeking refuge in Sudan in extremely dire conditions. ”
“As a result of this conflict, according to the United Nations, around 4.5 million of a population of 6 million people are directly dependent on humanitarian aid,” it says there. “Between two and 2.5 million people in the region will experience severe food insecurity by September. News agencies from around the world are also increasingly writing horrific stories of rape, torture and mass arrests. ”
It is reminiscent of Abiy’s own words from his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize two years ago: “There are those who have never seen war, but glorify and romanticize it. You didn’t see the fear. You didn’t see the tiredness. They did not see the destruction or the heartbreak, nor did they feel the sad emptiness of the war after the slaughter. ”
In particular, the Heads of State and Government urge Prime Minister Ahmed to:
1. Act now and quickly to save his country and end the suffering of the war-torn Ethiopians in Tigray.
2. Invitation to independent and credible investigations into human rights violations and violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law by all actors in Tigray in full cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. We encourage the Prime Minister to ensure that other human rights organizations are given access to independently investigate reports of human rights abuses and abuses in Tigray.
3. Consider establishing a hybrid court with the power to hold Eritrean perpetrators of war crimes accountable.
4. Full cooperation with regional organizations and the international community to enable all-encompassing dialogue, reconciliation and healing, involving all political and civil society actors in Tigray, with the aim of defining an amicable path for future governance of the region.
5. Lead calls for a cessation of hostilities by all parties involved and encourages other parties to commit to ending the fighting immediately. Press for the immediate and verifiable withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara’s regional troops from the Tigray region.
6. Facilitate the work of international humanitarian personnel, including by issuing long-term visas, expediting the process of importing and using satellite communications technology by humanitarian organizations, and instructing your military and allied forces to establish a civil-military coordination cell to the work of local humanitarian organizations.
7. Order to protect all civilians in Tigray and throughout Ethiopia regardless of ethnicity, including refugees and internally displaced persons, and especially women, in the face of widespread reports of sexual and gender-based violence. ”
“It is clear that the political dispute that led to the Tigray crisis, like all wars, cannot be resolved by military means alone,” it says. “The suffering inflicted on the people in the region is already too great. For the good of Ethiopia and for the good of the region and the world, we ask the Prime Minister to work towards a political solution as soon as possible. Only through dialogue and negotiation can lasting peace be established and healing for so many can begin. ”
So far there has been no response from Prime Minister Abiy.
read the letter
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