The EU Should Uphold Human Rights at the Heart of its Foreign Policy on Ethiopia & Eritrea

Open Letters

HE Charles Michel
President of the European Council

HE JosepBorrell
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission

HE Jutta Urpilainen
EU Commissioner for International Partnerships

HE Annette Weber
EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa
Member States of the EU

19 June 2022

RE: The EU Should Uphold Human Rights at the Heart of its Foreign Policy on Ethiopia & Eritrea

Your Excellencies,

TADAUK believes the EU should uphold human rights at the heart of its foreign policy on Ethiopia. The EU postponement of budget support to the Ethiopian government is principled and farsighted. The EU actions has brought a positive impact, by sending unequivocal message to rogue entities & war criminals. The international community is extremely horrified by the genocidal actions of the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments, heartbroken by the ongoing ethnic cleansing, rape of women and girls, effective siege and genocidal war in Tigray.

We believe the recent statement of the Government of Ethiopia announcing a humanitarian truce that has been followed by a statement from Tigrayan leaders is partly the by-product of the ongoing diplomatic and economic pressures by the EU and its allies. This is an important step that should be maintained until the inhumane siege is lifted and the Eritrean mercenaries are verifiably withdrawn from Western and North Eastern Tigray.

We are grateful to all EU calls towards a ceasefire and lifting current impediments to humanitarian assistance reaching those in need. In terms of humanitarian support, since the beginning of the crisis, the EU has provided millions of euros in humanitarian aid for people affected by the conflictin Ethiopia. However, this didn’t stop causality reports including 120000 conflict rape cases, 50,000 to 100,000 victims of direct killings, 150,000 to 200,000 starvation deaths, and more than 100,000 additional deaths caused by a lack of health care, and 2.2 million people are internally displaced.

According to researchers led by Jan Nyssen of Ghent University , an estimated half a million Tigrayans lost their lives due to the genocidal war perpetuated by the Amhara, Ethiopian and Eritrean armies, . Tigray war has seen up to half a million dead from violence and starvation, say researchers – The Globe and Mail .

We are grateful that EU has organised humanitarian air bridges with several Member States to deliver aid to Tigray. We can imagine what would have happened without these Humanitarian air bridges?  However, the Ethiopian government still continue to deliberately hamper aid delivery, by playing cat and mouse games, putting significant obstacle to aid operations in Tigray & the Northern Regions, clearly using food as a weapon of war.  

We recognise the EU calls to all parties to the conflict to fully respect International Humanitarian Law, including protection of civilians and humanitarian workers. However, the Ethiopian government, the Eritrean army and the Amhara Militia still occupy vast areas Western and North Eastern Tigray, extrajudicial killing, and rape of women and girls are continuing with vengeance.

Tigray is under effective siege, with no telecommunication, banking and adequate medical supplies. We believe, the EU postponement of budget support to the Ethiopian Government is judicious, until the Ethiopian government stop this genocidal war on the Tigrayan people. Other ethnic communities, including the Oromo’s, Benshangul Gumuz, Agaw, Gambella, Kemant and Afar people are victims of these genocidal war too. The killing is continuing unabated.Please note the recent HRW and Amnesty International Report.

We, at TADAUK, agree with the EU stance that the only path to a sustainable solution is through an inclusive and constructive political dialogue. We are encouraged by the continuous efforts of the PSC- EU, the role played by his Excellency Joseph Borrell and the Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, Dr Annette Weber. However, the Eritrean and Amhara Regional Governments destructive role on the peace efforts is continuing unchallenged. Therefore, all EU member countries should act in one voice, work in unison, and honour the cardinal principles of article 38 of EU Charter.

We plead to all EU member countries to avoid premature conclusions, thinking the Eritrean and Ethiopian government are changing their genocidal behaviour. In fact, the genocidal regimes are preparing for another round of offensive, while the international community’s attention is diverted on another genocidal war in Ukraine.  

On 17 December 2021, at the request of the EU, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution establishing an international commission of human rights experts to conduct an investigation into allegations of violations and abuses committed in Ethiopia. The EU’ leadership role in this resolution was decisive and commendable. However, the Eritrean and Ethiopian government clearly rejected the resolution and made non-cooperation’s statements. According to TADAUK.Org recent investigation, the Eritrean and Ethiopian regimes are cyber rattling for another round of full invasion of Tigray, with the military support of the Russians.

TADA UK is calling for the EU to uphold human rights at the heart of its foreign policy. The EU postponement of budget support to the Ethiopian Government must be upheld, until such time the government of Eritrea and Ethiopia allow the investigations commission and full accountability is restored.

And finally, the EU should support a comprehensive national dialogue with all segments of the Ethiopian society and all ethnic groups in order to preserve the stability in the region.

Estifanos Abebe

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