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12 July 2021

We, Ethiopians and citizens of European Countries, members of the Defend Ethiopia Task Force in Europe organized in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom

Recalling that since 2018, Ethiopia is undergoing a profound transformation which cuts across political, economic and social areas, under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed whose efforts were recognized by the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize award.

Reminding that the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has been encouraging actions resulting in the death and displacement of innocent civilians and ethnic targeting crimes between 2018-2020.

Recalling further that the Federal Government has repeatedly called upon the TPLF’s leadership to take a different route and become a force of peace and development;

Having noted that these repeated efforts to peacefully resolve political differences were systematically rejected by the TPLF;

Recalling with profound dismay that the TPLF soldiers instigated an attack on a national army base in the evening of the 3rd of November 2020, massacring their comrades in arms in their sleep;

Having stood with the Government of Ethiopia in its commitment to uphold rule of Law in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region by undertaking a legitimate law enforcement operation after exhausting all peaceful means;

Having condemned the TPLF and Tigray regional militias’ series of crimes and mass murders of Amhara People carried out on 9–10 November 2020 in the town of Mai Kadra as evidenced by the Ethiopian Human Rights Council and Amnesty International;

Welcoming the joint investigation undertaken independently by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission into violations, abuses and related crimes;

Noting with satisfaction the discipline of the Ethiopian People who participated in the 6th General Elections on the 21st of June 2021 in a peaceful and orderly manner, registering the highest turnout in the country’s history;

Welcoming the Ethiopian Government’s wise decision to declare a unilateral and humanitarian ceasefire and redeployment from Tigray;

Noting with satisfaction the United Nations Security Council’s backing of the African Union led negotiation process on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

Call on the international community in particular the United States Government, the European Union, UN Humanitarian Agencies and NGOs to:

    • Scale, without politicization, resources for the humanitarian needs and re-construction of infrastructures in the Tigray region;
    • Examine in-depth and understand the root causes of the problem in Tigray and collaborate with the government of Ethiopia in bringing a political settlement and a lasting peace while respecting Ethiopia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity;
    • Respect the voice for peace of the Ethiopian People who have spoken through an imperfect yet credible election, stop the undue pressure on the government of Ethiopia and support the promising democratization process particularly in the area of institutional capacity building as these will ultimately lead to stability in the Horn of Africa.
    • Urge Egypt and Sudan to negotiate in good faith with Ethiopia for equitable and reasonable use of the Nile waters under the auspices of the African Union as demanded by the U.N Security Council.

Last, we also call upon Western media outlets to balance their reporting by presenting different perspectives and refrain from campaigns in a bid to destabilize the government of Ethiopia and hamper its efforts to solve the crisis in the Tigray region.

The Steering Group of the Defend Ethiopia Task Force in Europe