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Ethiopia's World / የኢትዮጵያ ዓለም

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Posts Tagged ‘Sanction’

Ethiopia: The UN is Failing its Ethnic Tigrayan Peacekeeping Troops

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on December 14, 2021

There Has Been Little To No Action Taken To Address The Ethiopian Government’s Ethnically-Based Expulsion And Arrest Of Tigrayan Peacekeepers.

When Tigrayan members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces. ENDF were deployed to UN peacekeeping missions, they did so under the banner of “Together for Peace”.

Respecting and honouring the brave few who put their own lives at risk in the service of their country and for the cause of world peace is a cherished norm. However, Tigrayan members of UN peacekeeping missions are getting the opposite treatment.

When the Ethiopian government launched an armed offensive against the Tigray region in November 2020, it withdrew troops from international peacekeeping missions to bolster its offensive. Citing fears over their loyalty to the federal government and ENDF, Tigrayan members of this contingent were also purged from their ranks without cause. Other Tigrayans were left with no choice but to seek asylum in order to escape abduction and internment.

Evidence of this purge was first attested to in a leaked video published by The Associated Press in which an Ethiopian military leader speaks of the need to ‘clean out our insides’ in a reference to the removal of Tigrayan service members.

Soon after, an article published in Foreign Policy on 23 November revealed an internal UN document that detailed concerns that these troops were likely to face torture or execution.

The UN’s fears were confirmed after it was revealed that military tribunals are being held to sentence Tigrayan security officers to death. The Ethiopian government is seemingly using the judicial system to make a show of passing judgment on defendants who were in fact criminalised by virtue of ethnic profiling alone. The risk to the lives of these service members, including those who served under the auspices of the UN peacekeeping missions, is real.

In such a context, where identity is being used as evidence of guilt, Tigrayans require protection and open legal proceedings that are monitored and corroborated by independent organisations. The international community’s inaction and silence regarding the horrible reality of these Tigrayans have allowed the Ethiopian government to prolong their suffering.

This same government expelled seven UN officials who were operating in Ethiopia, accusing them of ‘meddling’, and arbitrarily arrested 16 local UN staff members.

The UN Secretary-General stated that “Ethiopia has no legal right to expel” the UN officials. However, the institution has not taken any steps to protect its representatives, who are crucial to address the enormous humanitarian needs in northern Ethiopia.

The UN entrusts peacekeepers to uphold its broader mission of maintaining peace and security around the world, and, in return, these servicemen and women bravely put their lives on the line for this noble cause. Accordingly, the UN has a contractual and moral obligation to protect these brave men and women. However, when it comes to Tigrayan peacekeepers, the UN and the rest of the international community have turned a blind eye.

The UN’s unwillingness to address the imminent threat faced by Tigrayans who served in peacekeeping missions – and lack of persistence in demanding protection for humanitarian workers and respect for international humanitarian law – is emboldening Ethiopia’s violations.

To the honourable men and women inside of the UN peacekeeping apparatus, as well as those in donor and member countries, I ask: If you are unable to protect the bravest who have worn the uniform to promote world peace, then how can you ever realise the dream of standing “Together for Peace”?

While silence or disengagement is to be expected at a certain level from diplomatic actors and entities, given their prerogative to not fuel further division in a space as polarized as Ethiopia’s, the case of Tigrayan peacekeepers exceeds the demands of neutrality and political sensitivity.

Their silence is even more worrying as the decision of the Ethiopian government has created a security vacuum in those areas where they were deployed, such as Darfur and Abyei in Sudan and Somalia, undermining the peacekeeping efforts. These actions also overstretched the capacity of UN peacekeeping troops that are present in these areas, leaving vulnerable communities at risk of immediate violence.

Moreover, since most peacekeeping troops operate under UN contracts, their treatment is a direct violation of the UN’s policy and commitment to world peace. The UN’s inaction may cause other countries to lose trust in future missions, given that there is no guarantee for the safety of their soldiers. Any atrocity committed against Tigrayan peacekeeping troops due to an internal political conflict is, by extension, an attack against peacekeepers around the world.

How the UN handles the case of Tigrayan peacekeepers in Ethiopia – many of whom have been incommunicado for over a year – will be a testament to how much the intergovernmental organisation values those it entrusts to uphold its mission.

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Posted in Ethiopia, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ethiopia Committing Possible Genocide in Tigray | Rep Michael McCaul to CNN

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on October 8, 2021

No Favours For Nobel Peace Laureate Mass Murderer

Rep. Michael McCaul is the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs committee. He calls for a bipartisan response to possible war crimes in Ethiopia.

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Posted in Ethiopia, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Economist | A. Ahmed Against The World | Ethiopia Is Losing Friends & Influence

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on October 7, 2021

From The Economist

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Posted in Ethiopia, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

ከንቱውን ‘Ethio 360’ን እርሱትና ‘Ethio 2021’ ን ተከታተሉት | መረን የለቀቀ አምባገነን

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on September 18, 2021

ወንድማችን ያስተላለፈልን መልዕክት ፻/100% ትክክል ነው! የዛሬዋ ኢትዮጵያ ጤናማ የሆነ ሕዝብ የሚኖርባት አገር ብትሆን ኖሮ ፋሺስቱ ግራኝ አብዮት አህመድ አሊ በትግራይ ሕዝብ ላይ በሠራው ከፍተኛ ግፍ ለአንዲትም ሰዓት እንኳን የስልጣን ወንበሩን ይዞ ባልቆየ ነበር። ይህ ትውልድ ግን ሕዝብ ሳይሆን መንጋ ነው። እንደዚህ ያለ አሳፋሪ ክስተት በየትም ሌላ ሃገር የተከሰተ አይመስለኝም።

💭 ከዓመት በፊት ይህን አቅርቤ ነበር፤ በወኔ “ጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩን እንገድለዋልን!”፤ ያለችው ወጣቷ የሊባኖስ ሴት ነበረች፤

ጀግኖቹ የሊባኖስ ክርስቲያኖች ወስላታ መንግስታቸውን ገነደሱት | በአንድ ሳምንት ትግል”

👉 የሊባኖስ መንግሥት ሙሉ በሙሉ ስልጣን እንዲለቅቅ ተገደደ።

ለዚህ መንግስት ነበር ጂኒ አቢይ ገና የቦንቡ ፍንዳታ ሳያልቅ የሃዘን መልዕክት አስተላልፎ የነበረው!

በቤይሩት ከተከሰተው ከፍተኛ ፍንዳታ በኋላ ህዝባዊ የአደባባይ ተቃውሞ የበረታበት የሊባኖስ መንግስት በፈቃዱ ከኃላፊነት ወርዷል።

የሀገሪቱ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ሀሳን ዲያብ በብሔራዊ ቴሌቪዥን ቀርበው መንግሥታቸው ስልጣን ለማስረከብ መወሰኑን አስታውቀዋል። ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ይህን ያስታወቁት፣ ለተከታታይ ቀናት የተካሄደውን ህዝባዊ ተቃውሞ ተከትሎ፣ የተለያዩ ሚኒስትሮች እና ሌሎች ባለስልጣናት የስልጣን መልቀቂያ ካስገቡ በኋላ ነው።

የመንግሥት ተቃዋሚዎች የሀገሪቱ ባለስልጣናት በሀገር ጉዳይ ቸልተኞች እና በሙስና የተተበተቡ መሆናቸውን በመግለጽ መንግሥትን ይወነጅላሉ። ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩም በንግግራቸው ይህን ውንጀላ ተቀብለዋል። በሊባኖስ ሙስና ከሀገሪቱ ከራሷ በላይ የገዘፈ ነው ያሉት ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዲያብ ይህም ለውጥ እንዳናመጣ አድርጎናል ብለዋል።እኛ ብቻችንን ነበርን እነርሱ ደግሞ ሁሉም (ሙሰኞቹ ) ከእኛ በተቃራኒ ናቸውሲሉም ፈታኝ ጊዜ ማሳለፋቸውን ገልፀዋል።

ወንድ በጠፋባት ኢትዮጵያ ግን ገዳይ ዐቢይ ያው ለሦስት አመታት አሰቃቂ ጀነሳይድ እየፈጸመ፣ ኢትዮጵያውያንን እያፈናቀለ፣ ህፃናትን እያገተ፣ ክርስቲያኖችን እየጨፈጨፍ፣ ዓብያተ ክርስቲያናት እያቃጠለ ባጠቃላይ ኢትዮጵያን በብርሃን ፍጥነት እንዳሻው እያፈራረሰ እንኳን ይህን ሁሉ ግፍና ሰቆቃ ስቃይ እና ሰቆቃ ለመቃወም አደባባይ የወጣ አንድም ኢትዮጵያዊ የለም። ሕዝቡ ከሊባኖስ ዜጎች እጅግ በጣም የከፋ የኑሮ ሁኔታ ላይ ነው የሚገኘው፤ እየተራበም ነው፤ ነገር ግን አሁንም በጂኒ ዐቢይ እና ደጋፊዎቹ እያተታለለ ውዳቂዎቹ ኦሮሞዎች እንዲሳለቁበትና እያላገጡ የጥፋት ዘመቻቸውን እንዲቀጥሉበት ዕድሉን ሰጥቷቸዋል። ምን ዓይነት ሰነፍ፣ አልቃሻና ደካማ ትውልድ ቢሆን ነው!? ወሬና ጉራ ብቻ! ለዚህም እኮ ነው በዘር ጥፋት ያ ሁሉ ሰው አልቆ የዓለም አቀፉ ማሕበረሰብ ዜሮ ትኩረት ለኢትዮጵያ ሊሰጡ ያልበቁት።

እስኪ ተመልከቱ በሊባኖስ አንዲት ፍንዳታ ለሁለት ሳምንታት ያህል የመላው ዓለም መነጋገሪያ ርዕሰ ጉዳይ ለመሆን በቅቷል። የዓለም አቀፉ ማሕበረሰብ ባጭር ጊዜ ውስጥ እስከ ግማሽ ቢሊየን ዶላር ለሊባኖን እርዳታ ለመሰብሰብ በቅቷል።”

👉 ወደዚህ ይግቡ፤ Ethio 2021

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Posted in Ethiopia, Infos, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

‘Too Little Too Late’ for U.S. Sanctions on Ethiopia?

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on September 18, 2021

💭 The World Watches as Abiy Loses it — And Risks Losing Ethiopia, Too.

Today, President Biden announced an Executive Order that declared the war, humanitarian crisis and human rights crisis in Ethiopia “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” and put in place mechanisms to impose sanctions on individuals and entities engaged in the war and abuses.

This comes not a moment too soon: out of the headlines, the civil war has been raging on. Thousands are dying in bloody battles between Tigrayan resistance fighters and the ill-trained recruits that the Ethiopian government is deploying to shore up its shattered army. More than 200 massacre sites have been documented in Tigray, and thousands of women were cruelly raped. There’s a man-made famine. Ethnic hatred whipped up by government propaganda threatens to dismember the country.

These brute facts are obscured by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s bizarre confidence that he is destined to re-create the mythic glory days of the Ethiopian empire and by his loyalists’ aggressive media campaigns. The United Nations and African Union have taken the path of least resistance, taking Ethiopia’s diplomatic blandishments at face value. The United States has called out Abiy on his deceptions and self-destruction. That’s the correct position, but no outside power can save a country whose leader is blithely leading it into disaster.

The war began on the night of November 3-4, 2020, when a political dispute between the Federal Government in Ethiopia, headed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and the Regional National Government in Tigray, headed by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, or TPLF, turned violent.

The causes of the war are complex and controversial. The two sides quarreled over the rights of states within the federation: the Tigrayans had held an election against the federal government’s decision to postpone elections due to COVID, and each side denounced the other as illegitimate. The first shots were fired by the Tigrayans and within days, a well-prepared ground and air attack was launched by a combination of Ethiopian federal troops, militia from the next-door Amhara region, and Eritrean troops to the north. Before the month was out, this coalition captured the Tigrayan capital Mekelle, forcing the Tigrayan leadership to flee to mountain redoubts.

For the next seven months, the Ethiopian government repeatedly assured the world that it was on the verge of wiping out the remnants of the TPLF. Despite a tight information blackout, disturbing information leaked out about egregious violations of human rights, certainly crimes against humanity. Ethiopian and Eritrean troops were branded as war criminals. The atrocities also drove Tigrayans — TPLF and non-TPLF — to unite in armed resistance. The war — with its mounting battlefield casualties — stayed below the media’s radar.

In June, Tigrayan guerrillas turned the military tables on the Ethiopian army, scoring decisive victories and forcing the federal army to abandon most of Tigray, including Mekelle, in disarray. The government, however, retained control of Western Tigray, an area bordering Sudan, where ethnic cleansing of Tigrayans continues. The Eritreans withdrew to defensive lines along the international border.

After this rout, Abiy announced a ceasefire but made it clear that he intended to regroup and return by force as soon as possible. With good reason, the TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda, who enjoys a reputation for provocative tweets, dismissed the ceasefire announcement as a “sick joke.”

Most importantly, Abiy continued to use his most potent weapon — starvation. Ethiopia and Eritrea encircle Tigray and enforce a blockade. Banks are closed, commercial traffic is stopped, and humanitarian aid is confined to a trickle. Over five million people in Tigray need emergency aid — an estimated 4,000 tons per day that would take 100 trucks to transport. Since the Tigrayans took back control, a total of just 435 trucks have been allowed in. That’s an average daily ration of about 40 grams, little more than a third of a cup of flour, per person. The obstacle isn’t generalized insecurity but a government policy of using starvation against a civilian population — a war crime.

The Regional National Government of Tigray says it is defending Ethiopia’s federal constitution. Adopted in 1995 when the TPLF was in government, that constitution controversially provides for each Ethiopian region to have the right of self-determination up to and including independence. This is exactly what Abiy’s vision of a unified Ethiopia seeks to deny. He has become an ultra-nationalist, seeking to resurrect the glory days of the Abyssinian empire.

After recapturing Mekelle, the Tigrayans did not wait for a counterattack. Armed with captured tanks and artillery, they took the offensive while their adversary was in disarray. They swept out of Tigray into Afar and Amhara regions, but TPLF leaders haven’t explained their war aims. Did they seek to break the blockade and secure roads for aid? Did they want to overthrow the government in Addis Ababa? And if so, did they want to return the TPLF to power or to form a coalition with insurgents in the south of Ethiopia?

With half his army destroyed and his triumphalist claims punctured, a leader might be expected to panic or flee. Not so Abiy Ahmed. With serene confidence, he proclaimed that he was destined to prevail. He showed visiting diplomats his gleaming refurbished palaces and parks and waved away the Tigrayans as a minority that had blighted the country, insisting that no tears should be shed over their destruction. Abiy assures African leaders that he has a plan to win the war and, they add, he truly believes it.

And Abiy has turned up the volume of nationalist-populist rhetoric to maximum. Ethnically charged, often frankly hateful messages that had previously been confined to fringe diaspora groups are now mainstream. Abiy describes the TPLF, and Tigrayans in general, as hyenas, cancers, and weeds to be uprooted. Many Ethiopians, especially from the historically dominant Amhara group, are heeding his call for every able-bodied Ethiopian to take up arms to fight for their land against the Tigrayan “traitors” and “terrorists.” They fight with zeal. Peasants, students, and urban youth, with just a few weeks’ basic training, charge TDF positions in human wave attacks. Sometimes the second wave doesn’t even have guns and have been told to take weapons from the enemy. Among them are priests and nuns with crosses and tabots (replicas of the Arc of the Covenant).

This kind of war blurs the line between combatant and civilian and between combat and massacre. There are half a dozen reports of TDF killings of villagers, each case trumpeted by Ethiopian media.

The mass attacks are a hemorrhage of young lives and a stark warning of future grievance. But they stalled the TDF advance and bought time for Abiy. The Eritrean army has sent armored divisions back into Ethiopia, and the government has been shopping for new equipment including drones (reportedly from Iran, Azerbaijan, and Turkey).

With every setback, Abiy digs in deeper. When his ambassadors failed to convince foreign governments, he eviscerated the diplomatic corps, reducing embassies such as the one in Washington to just the ambassador and a skeleton support staff. Abiy reportedly said that diaspora volunteers do a better job of presenting his case than professional diplomats, though he has also hired commercial lobbyists too. Ethiopian “twitter lions” engage in social media combat with venom and determination. Every independent journalist or human rights advocate faces the online version of a human wave attack — relentless twitter trolling and hate mail.

Intimidation works in tandem with standard diplomatic blandishments. In a world beset by crises, Ethiopia is no one’s priority disaster, and so it’s convenient to dilute the frightening realities. The default storyline of foreign affairs officials is that the conflict is complicated, the facts aren’t clear, there are no good guys — and the government has given solemn assurances to make things better. Such thinking is lazy and demonstrably false — but pervasive.

Foreign leaders who have discussed the war in detail with Abiy and who have examined the grim evidence on the ground don’t buy his story; they think he is delusional and is leading Ethiopia into self-destruction. To its credit, the Biden administration is in this camp. Among its few public allies are Ireland, Norway, and the European Union Commission.

Privately, African leaders are terrified that Abiy will drive Ethiopia into state failure, which would in turn deepen instability throughout the Horn of Africa, but they can’t bear to admit that there’s no African solution for this African problem. In reaction to Washington’s tough measures announced today, Africans may publicly complain about American bullying but they will be privately thankful. Such arm-twisting cannot come quickly enough. Ethiopia’s tragedy may be that the country unravels before its leader’s reputation does.

Source

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EU’s Josep Borrell Urges Sanctions over Ethiopia Crisis

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on July 12, 2021

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Monday urged member states to consider imposing sanctions over the crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray, as the bloc looks to increase aid deliveries to the region.

“We should be ready to use restrictive measures where we believe they are justified,” Borrell said after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

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Tigray is plunging towards a cataclysmic humanitarian crisis as a brutal war between the government and rebels from the region has left hundreds of thousands of people facing famine.

Borrell said the EU wants to see a ceasefire declared by the government implemented on the ground, but warned that Tigray was instead being “cut off from the rest of the world.”

“The situation in the Tigray region has never been as bad,” Borrell said.

“In spite of the ceasefire announced by the government of Ethiopia, what we are seeing in Tigray, what we are afraid Tigray is going to suffer is a serious humanitarian crisis.”

Borrell said that Brussels was now looking to organize an “air bridge” to help bring aid to the region, but conceded it would not reach the vast number of people in need.

Tigray has been the scene of fighting since Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent the army in early November to topple dissident regional authorities.

The 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner accused them of orchestrating attacks on Ethiopian military bases.

After early successes and a premature declaration of victory, government forces were bogged down in a vicious and months-long battle with the Tigray Defense Forces, or TDF. The Ethiopian army was backed by troops from the neighboring Amhara region and the army of Eritrea, which borders Tigray.

In late June, the TDF recaptured the capital Mekele, which had held by the Ethiopian army since November 28.

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U.S. Warns of Further Action Against Ethiopia, Eritrea Over Tigray

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 27, 2021

👉 ገብርኤል 👉 ማርያም 👉 ኡራኤል 👉 ጊዮርጊስ 👉 ተክለ ሐይማኖት 👉 ዮሴፍ 👉 መድኃኔ ዓለም

💭 አሜሪካ በኢትዮጵያ እና በኤርትራ ላይ ስለ ትግራይ ተጨማሪ እርምጃ እንደምትወስድ አስጠነቀች።

ግጭቱን የሚያራምዱት ኃይሎች አካሄዳቸውን ወደ ኋላ መመለስ ካልቻሉ ኢትዮጵያ እና ኤርትራ ተጨማሪ እርምጃዎችን መጠበቅ ይኖርባቸዋል። በትግራይ ብጥብጥ እና ጭካኔ የተሞላበት ሁኔታ እየታየ ‘ንግድ እንደተለመደው’ ሊሆን አይችልም።

Should those stoking the conflict fail to reverse course, Ethiopia and Eritrea should anticipate further actions. It cannot be ‘business-as-usual’ in the face of the violence and atrocities in Tigray,”

A senior U.S. State Department official warned on Thursday that Ethiopia and Eritrea should anticipate further actions from the United States if those stoking the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region fail to reverse course.

Thousands have been killed and about 2 million people forced from their homes in Tigray after conflict erupted between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and the Ethiopian military in November. Troops from the neighboring Amhara region and the nation of Eritrea entered the war to support the government.

The State Department’s Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs Robert Godec told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the security situation in Tigray has worsened in recent weeks, adding all armed parties have committed atrocities.

Eritrea’s information minister, Yemane Gebremeskel, and Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman Dina Mufti did not respond to calls and messages requesting comment.

The Ethiopian government has previously said that the conflict in Tigray is an internal affair; last week it announced that more than 50 soldiers were on trial for rape or killing civilians, although the records are not public. Eritrea has denied any allegations its troops have been involved in atrocities.

Both Ethiopia and Eritrea spent months denying the presence of Eritrean troops in Tigray, before announcing two months ago the Eritreans would pull out. On Monday night, both militaries carried out a joint raid on camps for displaced families in the town of Shire, witnesses said. The incident prompted condemnation from the United Nations over the “arbitrary arrests, beatings and other forms of ill-treatment”.

“Should those stoking the conflict fail to reverse course, Ethiopia and Eritrea should anticipate further actions. It cannot be ‘business-as-usual’ in the face of the violence and atrocities in Tigray,” Godec said.

On Sunday, the United States imposed restrictions on economic and security assistance to Ethiopia over alleged human rights abuses during the conflict in Tigray, and said it will bar current or former Ethiopian or Eritrean government officials it deems responsible for the crisis. Eritrea already faces broad restrictions.

Godec said that the United States is looking at a range of other sanctions, including under the Global Magnitsky Act and others targeted at individuals or institutions.

Godec said that while the ethnic conflict in Tigray is the worst in Ethiopia, it is only one, citing attacks on ethnic Amharans, Gumuz and Oromo, as well as other violence.

“The government’s response of mass arrests, media restrictions, human rights violations, and declining political space is fueling inter-communal rivalry and imperiling the national elections now scheduled for June 21,” Godec said.

Source

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Tigrayans Told, ‘We’ll See if America Will Save You Now,’ as Hundreds Rounded up by Ethiopian & Eritrean Soldiers

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 26, 2021

Days after the United States announced financial sanctions and visa restrictions on Ethiopian and Eritrean officials, eyewitnesses told CNN that hundreds of young men were rounded up from displaced peoples camps in Shire, a town in Tigray, late Monday evening.

Witnesses speaking to CNN on condition of anonymity described how Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers invaded at least two IDP centers where they beat and harassed Tigrayans displaced by a conflict that is believed to have killed thousands of civilians since November 2020. The soldiers then took hundreds of people away, the witnesses said

Four military vehicles first encircled the Adi Wenfito and Tsehay camps, witnesses said, before soldiers began rounding up young men, forcing them onto buses and taking them to a location believed to be on the outskirts of Shire. As the soldiers broke into an abandoned school housing the refugees, witnesses said they shouted, “we’ll see if America will save you now!”

“They forced open the door, the men didn’t even get a chance to put their shoes on. The soldiers had their guns locked, [ready to shoot],” one witness said.

One woman said two of her sons — aged 19 and 24 — were dragged from their home at around 9:30 p.m. that night. “They didn’t say why they were taking them, they just rounded them up, beat them and took them away,” she told CNN, adding that she was too afraid of what would be done to her sons to ask any questions.

Several of the men who were rounded up were released late afternoon on Tuesday, after they identified themselves as aid workers. They told CNN hundreds of young men continue to be detained at the Guna distribution center, an aid and foodstuff storage facility which has now been converted into a military camp.

One man described hours of beatings by Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers. “Many of us are young but there are people there who are much older who won’t be able to withstand the beatings much longer,” he said.

Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Ghebremeskel denied the reports and dismissed previous CNN reporting, saying, “For how long will you continue to believe at face value any and all ‘witness statements’ … We have heard so many planted or false stories.”

The UN’s high commissioner for human rights previously called for an independent investigation into human rights violations in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, following CNN reporting on a massacre perpetrated against civilians there.

Elisabeth Haslund, spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the agency that works with displaced people, told CNN, “we have also received very disturbing reports that Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers entered IDP sites taking a number of youths into several vehicles. The reports of how many vary from a few hundred up to 700 youths.”

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) released a statement on Wednesday that corroborated the eyewitnesses accounts given to CNN. “On Monday night, scores of people were forcibly taken by military from camps where internally displaced people are seeking refuge in Shire,” MSF East Africa tweeted.

200 days of violence

The conflict in Tigray has now raged for over 200 days pitting Tigray’s regional leaders, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), against the Ethiopian National Defense Force, Eritrean soldiers and Amhara ethnic militia. From the start of the conflict last year civilians have been targeted by Ethiopian government forces and allied Eritrean and militia forces.

This latest incident, however, is a significant escalation in what is described by humanitarian workers and witnesses in Shire as an ongoing, extrajudicial campaign targeting young men perceived to be of “fighting age.”

Aid agencies estimate the town of Shire has tripled in size, hosting up to 800,000 Tigrayans forced out of their homes in the far west of the region in actions by Ethiopian, Eritrean and Amhara ethnic militia forces described by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as “ethnic cleansing.”

Humanitarian workers told CNN Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers have been blocking a key aid route to Shire for months, restricting supplies even as displaced persons continue to flow into the town.

One aid worker told CNN tens of vehicles carrying aid to Shire were turned back on Saturday alone. A CNN team in the region in April was able to capture on camera Eritrean soldiers obstructing aid along this route.

CNN has reached out to the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s Office and the Eritrean Minister for Information for comment but has not received a response.

US sanctions

The United States late Sunday evening announced “far reaching” financial sanctions and visa restrictions against Ethiopian, Eritrean, Amhara and TPLF officials it finds to be “complicit” in abuses or obstructing the resolution of the crisis. A State Department spokesperson told CNN the sanctions would be enforced as a “unilateral action” by the US. CNN has sought comment from the State Department on the latest reports from Shire.

In a statement the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs dismissed the US sanctions. Many witnesses see this latest uptick in violence as a statement of defiance in the face of growing international censure.

In videos sent to CNN on Tuesday morning, which were secretly filmed, desperate parents can be seen gathering in the compound of the local UNHCR office. In one video Ethiopian soldiers can be seen addressing the parents inside the compound.

CNN was able to geolocate the videos to a location in the center of Shire by examining the metadata in the raw files and matching key landmarks in the footage to the surroundings, such as the Kholafaa e Rashedeen mosque. The metadata also revealed the date and time the videos were filmed — May 25, 2021 at around 7:45am local time — which fits with the direction of the sunlight and the lengths of the shadows in the video, a CNN analysis shows. One of the videos also features an UNHCR logo supporting the accounts.

The audio in the video is indistinct but witnesses say parents were told: “We could kill you right here and the UN would do nothing to help but take pictures of you.”

Source

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የትግራይ እናቶች በእንባ የታጀበ ጸሎት እና ምሕላ | Tears of a Tigrayan Mother’s Cry

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 26, 2021

✞✞✞መቀሌ/ ማክሰኞ፡ ግንቦት ፲፯/፪ሺ፲፫ ዓ.ም በቅዱስ እስጢፋኖስ ዕለት ✞✞✞

አዎ! እናቶቼ እየደረሰባቸው ላለው ከባድ ግፍ የሽብር ጥቃት ቦምብ እያፈነዱ አይደለም እንደ አህዛብ በግራኝ እና መንጋው ላይ ለመበቀል የሚመኙት፤ በቀል የእግዚአብሔር ነውና እንዲህ በጥልቁ እያነቡ ነው ድምጻቸውንና ለቅሷቸውን ለእግዚአብሔርላካቸው የሚያሰሙት። ቃኤላውያን ወዮላችሁ! ወዮላችሁ!

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Will US Restrictions Bring an End to Tigray Violence | Al Jazeera

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 26, 2021

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