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19 September 2022
We, Ethiopians and Europeans of Ethiopian origin, residing in several European countries, organized as Defend Ethiopia Task Force in Europe release the following statement to express our outrage at the recent statement given by the Spokesperson of the European Union External Action (EEAS) on the latest developments in Ethiopia.
We are baffled to read the EEAS press team’s communication, referring to the Regional Government of Tigray, whereas Tigray is illegally administered by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a violent armed group designated as terrorist by the Ethiopian Parliament.
We are equally surprised to see the EEAS breaks its silence about the situation in Northern Ethiopia legitimizing an armed group that has terrorized the people of Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia for decades and has now re-ignited a third round of conflict.
We are dismayed to continuously witness the European Union branch is involved in such a coordinated and skewed narration of events unfolding in Northern Ethiopia emboldening TPLF.
We observed with incredulity at the deafening silence of the EEAS Press Team when important events occurred worth its comment. To mention some, the EEAS was silent when:
- TPLF opened the third round of conflict, abused humanitarian aid and looted UN World Food Program’s fuel to use it for military purpose and reignite the war, on August 24th, 2022.
- A unilateral humanitarian ceasefire was declared by the Ethiopian government, on 28th of June 2021.
- The Federal Government announced its decision to halt the advance of the ENDF towards Mekele after pushing back TPLF forces from most of the Amhara and Afar regions, on the 23rd of December 2021.
- Ethiopian Government made an executive pardon to high profile TPLF officials, on the 7th of January 2022.
It is surprising that the EEAS was silent when all these events, and more, occurred and yet chose this moment to release a statement after systematically ignoring to recognize the Ethiopian Government’s commitment to resolving the conflict in Tigray through peaceful means as demonstrated through its actions for the past months; notably its readiness to sign on an unconditional permanent ceasefire followed by arrangements for restoration of services in Tigray.
While we appreciate the EU’s support for the AU-led peace process, we expect a more tangible stance and actions from the EU and its member states to hold TPLF to abide by the agreement of the peace talks. Due to the IC, EU and its member states’ utter failure to condemn this terrorist group’s belligerent acts, it has been emboldened to continue its aggression. As such, TPLF is encouraged to expand its offensive into many regions outside Tigray, commit more human rights abuses, perpetrate violence, cause displacement of innocents, destruction of schools and hospitals and finally break the unilateral humanitarian truce declared by the government of Ethiopia, which had facilitated unhindered humanitarian access.
As Ethiopians and Europeans of Ethiopian origin residing in 12 European countries, we align ourselves with the statement of the Embassy of Ethiopia to the European Union, which we hope you will give due consideration.