Tag: <span>Ethiopian Defense Forces</span>

Ethiopia Appeals

Ethiopia: The Cry of the Imburi.

Featured Image by Steve Evans from Citizen of the World, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

By Rene Wadlow.

The Imburi are spirits that are said to inhabit the forests of Gabon in Equatorial Africa;  and who cry out for those who can hear them at times of impending violence or danger.  The Imburi have been crying out over the increasing dangers of the conflict in Ethiopia which began on 3 November 2020. However during the past year, the conflict has spread to other parts of Ethiopia and has impacted neighboring countries.

The fighting in Tigray becomes more complex each day as Ethiopian Defense Forces, Eritrean Defense Forces and ethnic militias face Tigrayan forces.  There is a build up of Sudanese government forces on the Ethiopian-Sudan border where refugees flee into Sudan.  The whole Horn of Africa, already fragile, is in danger of greater destabilization.

Ethiopia

You might be interested in reading: Urgent Appeal for Ceasefire in Ethiopia Armed Conflict.

For the moment, all efforts for mediation proposed by the United Nations, by the African Union or individual states such as the U.S.A. have been refused by the Ethiopian central government.  Many of the former officials of the Tigray Province have fled to other countries.  Thus it is not clear who is in a position to negotiate for the Tigray factions were negotiations to be undertaken.

The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has sent representatives to Ethiopia to collect information on human rights violations related to the conflict in Tigray.  With great difficulty some information on massive human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law has been collected.  The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet  has spoken out on these violations involving mass killings, rapes, and the abduction of civilians when presenting the report on 3 November 2021 in Geneva. 

Michelle Bachelet

 Official Portrait of Mrs. President of the Republic Michelle Bachelet Jeria, Period 2014-2018. By Gobierno de Chile, CC BY 3.0 CL <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/cl/deed.en>, via Wikimedia Commons.

However she stressed the difficulties of collecting information and the impossibility to visit certain areas where massive violations were said to have taken place.  Amnesty International has also tried to collect information by telephone since its representatives were not allowed to enter the country.

On 2 November 2021, a state of emergency covering all of Ethiopia was declared by the federal government.  Arrests of Tigrayans  living in the capital Addis-Abeba followed.  Travel within the country is limited and heavily controlled by the police and the military. There is talk of a wide-spread roundup of Tigrayans living in Adddis-Abeba and other large cities and placing them in camps.  There is an increase in local self-defense groups as fear grips the country.

Tigray

You might be interested in reading: Ethiopia’s Tigray, a New Biafra?.

There are few signs of compromise or a willingness to deal with the deep consequences of the armed conflict.  There might be some possibilities for non-governmental, Track II type efforts to see where some progress might be made.  The Association of World Citizens, knowing the fragile nature of the confederation of provinces which make up the Ethiopian State had made a first appeal for a ceasefire and negotiations in good faith shortly after fighting had started in early November 2020. 

However,  for the moment, possibilities for mediation either by governments or NGOs have not been acted upon. A situation which needs to be follow carefully.

Ethiopia

You might be interested in reading: Negotiation Appeals for to end The Armed Conflict in Ethiopia.

 

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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The Uprooted.

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The Armed Conflict in Ethiopia Appeals

Negotiation Appeals for to end The Armed Conflict in…

Featured Image: National Ethiopia Flag. Photo by Kelly Lacy in Pexels.
 
The Association of World Citizens (AWC) now reiterates its Appeal to the parties in the armed conflict in Ethiopia for negotiations in good faith to end the fighting,  and to deal with the deep consequences of the conflict; especially the wide-spread hunger.
 
Mark Lowcock; the United Nations Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs; has warned that nearly five million of the six million population of the Tigray Province needed food assistance;  and the number grows as fighting spreads to other regions.
 
   Shortly after fighting began on 3 November 2020; the Association of World Citizens, knowing the fragile nature of the confederation of provinces which make up the Ethiopian state;  had made a first Appeal for negotiations in good faith;  although information on the fighting was very limited.  Journalists were prevented from going to Tigray as were most humanitarian NGOs.
 
Mark Lowcock
Mark Lowcock, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator speaks at the Safeguarding Conference in London. 18/10/2018. By DFID – UK Department for International Development, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Fighting in Tigray becomes more complex each day.

 
However by February; enough information  had been  gathered from refugee sources, that Amnesty International presented a first report on the extent of human rights violations, with multiple credible and widely corraborated reports of widespread atrocities involving mass killings, rapes and the abduction of civilians.
 
   The fighting in Tigray becomes more complex each day as Ethiopian Defense Forces, Eritrean Defense Forces and ethnic militias face Tigrayan forces.  There is a buildup of Sudanese government forces on the Ethiopian-Sudan border and refugees flee into Sudan.  The whole Horn of Africa already fragile is in danger of greater destabilization.
 
   For the moment all efforts for mediation proposed by the United Nations or the African Union have been refused by the Ethiopian central government. The former officials of Tigray Province have fled, and it is not clear who is in a position to negotiate for the Tigray factions were negotiations to be undertaken. There may be possibilities for non-governmental initiatives.
 
 
 
Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

The Uprooted.

Increasing numbers of people in countries around the world, have been forced from their homes, by armed conflicts and systematic violations of human rights. Those who cross internationally recognized borders…

1 2 12

Tigray Appeals

Ethiopia’s Tigray, a New Biafra?.

Photo by Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash.

By Rene Wadlow.

On 4 March 2021; at the United Nations, Mark Lowcock; the U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs; warned that a campaign of destruction is taking place in Ethiopia’s Tigray  Provence; saying that nearly five million of the six million population of the Provence, needed food assistance.  For the first time; a high U.N. official highlighted the role of the Eritrean Defense Forces fighting along side of the Ethiopian central government’s forces were committing crimes of war.  He indicated that as the Tigray fighting enters its fourth month;

there are “multiple credible and widely corroborated reports from Tigray of widespread atrocities, involving mass killings, rapes, and the abductions of civilians.”

The fighting in Tigray began at the time of the harvest of agricultural production. Much of the harvest has been destroyed as well as farm markets.  Thus; there is wide-spread hunger.  The question which;  we must ask is if famine is a consequence of the fighting;  or a deliberate policy to starve the Tigray resistance – starvation as an arm of war.  The famine situation in Tigray today brings to mind the Nigeria-Biafra war of 1967-1970.

The International Committee of the Red Cross.

During the Biafra war; I was a member of a working group of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva.  The armed conflict was the first in Africa; in which only an African State was involved; no colonial party used to the European laws of war. The International Committee of the Red Cross faced a new socio-cultural context; in which to try for the respect of humanitarian law.

We find many of the same elements in the lead up to the fighting in Tigray: a change in power in the central government;  an effort of the new administration to centralize the administration; demands for autonomy or independence based on ethnic criteria; a flow of refugees toward other provinces of the country; the influence of neighboring or other States in the conflict. The Nigeria-Biafra war dragged on for 30 months; and at least one million lives were taken.

Blocking food aid to Biafra became a deliberate policy. Starvation became not a consequence of war; but an arm of war.  The policy of starvation is remembered and still colors politics in Nigeria. (1)

 

To Uphold Human Dignity.

The fighting in Tigray becomes more complex by the day as Ethiopian Defense Forces, Eritrean Defense Forces, ethnic militias from the Amhara region face Tigrayan forces. There is a buildup of Sudanese government forces on the Ethiopian-Sudan border; and there are growing ethnic conflicts; in the Benishangul-Gumuz region; as Tigrans flee into Sudan.  Reporting on the war is very limited.  Communications are deliberately cut; and journalists unwelcome and under heavy government pressure.  Starvation as a government war policy is denied. One would not expect otherwise.

However; we know little of the military planning of the central Ethiopian government. For the moment; all efforts for mediation proposed by the United Nations or the Organization of African Unity have been refused by the Ethiopian central government; and the former officials of the Tigray province have fled.  For the moment; we on the outside can only watch.

We need to do more to uphold human dignity.

 

Note.

1) See: Ifi Amadiume and Abdullah An-Na’im (Eds)  The Politics of Memory: Truth, Healing and Social Justice; (London: Zed Books, 2000, 207 pp.)

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.