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We, Ethiopians and citizens of European countries, members of the Defend Ethiopia Task Force in Europe organized in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom strongly disagree with your statement, dated 26th October 2022, warning “ a heightened risk of Genocide and Mass Atrocities in Ethiopian”.
The article has failed to capture and present a balanced narration of the conflict. It lacks critical evidence and substance regarding the conflict in Ethiopia, echoing a one-sided, ethnically motivated narration, further destabilizing the country. Thus we, as concerned citizens of Ethiopian origin living in Europe, are compelled to express our disagreement with the content of your article noting that it doesn’t contribute any value to our country nor solution to the challenges in Ethiopia. Moreover, the recent encouraging developments on the negotiations in South Africa can be compromised by such senseless unfounded warning.
The first victim in the northern Ethiopia conflict is the truth. It starts with banalizing the context and complexity of the issue in question in crafting the narrative to serve certain geopolitical agenda in the Horn of Africa. We firmly believe that the involvement of several actors in the Ethiopian conflict is an orchestrated and concerted effort to discredit the democratically elected strong leadership and bring the criminal and terrorist TPLF group back to power in our country, which we cannot allow. However, the effort of writing such an unfounded and ethnically charged article speculating that genocide might happen without understanding the context and social fabric of Ethiopians is a disgrace and mere evil wishes for our society. In several letters addressed to various entities, we have strived to explain that a nuanced understanding of the situation in Ethiopia is needed for actors like the Holocaust Museum to become part of the solution than the problem.
The Holocaust Museum has a moral responsibility not to abuse as powerful terminology as ‘Genocide’ without verifiable facts. Regrettably, the US Holocaust museum released such an article based on unverified and uncorroborated information on Ethiopia’s northern conflict. The Holocaust museum, we believe, is an important organization whose existence and advocacy remind the world how the use of misleading information could cause untold devastation if left unchecked. Similarly to your past articles, your statement issued on 26th October 2022 based on unverified statements has not gone unnoticed by our task force, which monitors such transgressions in several media platforms regarding Ethiopian politics.
The Northern Ethiopian community shares values, religions, norms and mixed ethnic identities where the supposed heightened risk results are supposedly identified. This unfounded presupposition of genocide has been against the values and culture in the area for centuries, where hostilities have always been resolved using traditional conflict resolution methods.
The unfounded allegations in your statement are among numerous erroneous pieces of information currently circulating in media and social media without being challenged. Facts on the ground shows there are thousands of civilians escaping from TPLF forced recruitment towards neighbouring regions who are labelled as genociders by the TPLF and its backers. We believe such disinformation may have originated from certain sources who are trying to gain political leverage over Ethiopia. The article released by the Holocaust Museum, knowingly or not, serves an extensive and coordinated campaign of disinformation waged against Ethiopia which has been going on for the past two years. .
Therefore, we call upon the US Holocaust Museum to vet its sources and verify its facts. We hope this highly venerated organization distances itself from such toxic disinformation campaigns waged on the democratically elected Ethiopian Government. But not least, such articles could have a detrimental effect on the challenging and delicately balanced ongoing peace talk process in South Africa, from which all Ethiopians hope to get a peaceful resolution.
Ethiopians appreciate the concern and efforts of all external actors regarding their country’s current challenging humanitarian situation. We firmly believe that we have the historical and moral ability to resolve our internal issues, and assure you that Ethiopians are more concerned than any external entity.
Since the conflict started, mounting evidence has proved that several allegations towards the Ethiopia National Defence Force and the democratically elected Government of Ethiopia have proved wrong. We strongly recommend you refer to the jointly published official report from The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission on the human rights situation in Tigray, which comprehensively reviewed the alleged violations of all actors involved. Accusations that “the Ethiopian Government uses starvation systematically or rape as a weapon and the allegation of genocide against the people in Tigray‘‘ was disproved by the report.
The Defend Ethiopia Task Force in Europe (DETF-EU) organized in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (SteeringGroup@DefendEthiopia.com)