Members of Baytona (Kibrom Zebib) and Sawet (Hailu Kebede) explaining the recently published form.
Since the beginning of the so-called movement for change, a deliberate and coordinated campaign has been launched against Tigrayans under the veil of attacking TPLF. It began by singling out Tigrayans as people who are unfairly advantaged in the country and insinuating at them as the perpetrators of all the evils in the country in the name of TPLF. Even though TPLF relinquished its share of power in the federal government, the smear campaign continued unabated clearly shaping up in to a genocidal mission. This resulted in a war of words between the federal government and the government of Tigray. In the meantime, the federal government postponed the sixth-round election using Covid-19 as a pretext. The regional government of Tigray, however, decided to go ahead with the regional election. In response to this decision of the regional government, an open threat of war was issued by the federal government. Following this threat, the federal government cutoff the budget subsidy that Tigray gets from the federation. Then, an open preparation for an onslaught on Tigray began with the mobilization of almost all divisions of the national army toward Tigray.
The declaration of war on Tigray was issued on November 4, 2020 by the federal government with a view to totally dismantle the regional government of Tigray. Though the onslaught on Tigray was ironically given the name of operation for law enforcement, what happened is a total war resulting in a he destruction of Tigray spearheaded by the federal government of Ethiopia and the state of Eritrea. This war demolished almost all economic installations and infrastructures in Tigray, killed and maimed tens of thousands of innocent Tigrayans and displaced millions. This war is a peak of the genocidal propaganda and economic war waged against Tigrayans and if left will unchecked exacerbate the already underway gruesome genocide happening in Tigray in the 21st century.
Recognizing the current dire situation in Tigray, three nationalist parties of Tigray; namely, Salsay Woyane Tigray (SAWET), National Congress for Greater Tigray (Baytona) and Tigray Independence Party (TIP) have set up a forum with a view to coordinate their political struggle around the following four objectives.
• Reclaim the territories of Tigray
• Restore the sovereignty of Tigray
• Ensure full exercise of self-determination through a referendum
• Ensure multi-party democracy and supremacy of law in Tigray
At this unfortunate episode, Tigray has almost vanished as a state and Tigrayans are struggling fiercely for their existence. The forum strongly believes that, however dear the price could be, the struggle by the people of Tigray for their survival will end up in their triumph. Nonetheless, we believe that the war in Tigray will have far reaching ramifications in the Horn of Africa and beyond. In fact, we have started to witness the impact of this war not only on Ethiopia and Eritrea, which are the direct participants of the war, but also in the Sudan and Somalia. There are also indications that other players in the region could be drawn in to this conflict thereby endangering the whole region. Therefore, this forum earnestly calls up on all actors of this war and the international community to work together to stop the war and start a dialogue process. An inclusive dialogue process that we call up on should ensure the following points so that Tigray and our region shall come to peace and stability.
1. Immediate withdrawal of the invading Eritrean forces from Tigray
2. Immediate withdrawal of the invading Amhara forces.
3. Immediate withdrawal of the Ethiopian army since it is committing atrocities on its own and together with the invading forces.
4. Full and unfettered access to humanitarian assistance by the international community throughout Tigray
5. Restoration of the state of Tigray with the full participation of all nationalist Tigrayan political forces and sections of the Tigrayan society.
6. Release all Tigrayan prisoners who are imprisoned because of their ethnicity
7. Full and independent international investigation of all the war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Tigray holding the perpetrators accountable for the crimes
8. A referendum must be held for the people of Tigray to decide on their fate.
9. Full compensation for the life, moral, psychological and economic damages in Tigray.
10. Start inclusive dialogue and negotiations process
A dialogue process cannot be implemented without an active participation of the international community. The international community should also take note of the fact that the people of Tigray are left without a state and government that protect their interest. We, therefore, call up on the international community to take a firm action to stop the war and start the peace process.