Open letter from Tigray National Political Parties Forum [Salsay Weyane Tigray (SaWeT), National Congress of Great Tigray (Baytona) and Tigray Independence Party (TIP)]
To – H.E.Mr. Dang Dinh Quy
President, Security council of the United Nations.
New York, NY, 10017
Subject – Call for an internationally monitored immediate withdrawal of Eritrean invading forces from Tigray
The people of Tigray have been appealing to the international community to live up to its commitments and uphold international laws. Tigrayan national political parties forum has been asking the international community to make sure the invading Eritrean forces withdraw and hold them accountable for the war crimes and human rights abuses they committed over the past six months in Tigray. While the evidence of Eritrean army’s active involvement in the genocidal war against the people of Tigray, alongside the Ethiopian Federal forces, Amhara militia and other foreign forces was abundant, to the dismay of many the international community’s response was not strong enough to persuade the invaders to abide by the long standing covenants of the UN.
The war has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, left millions of civilians displaced; over 6.5 million Tigrayans requiring immediate humanitarian assistance, tens of thousands of women are subjected to sexual abuses on the continuing genocidal war.
Beyond upholding international laws, the presence of Eritrean invading forces in Tigray is an obstacle for any international, bilateral or multilateral peace initiatives in the region. Furthermore; it has been demonstrated that it is unrealistic to deliver humanitarian aid to the millions of internally displaced and the general population in need of immediate sustenance support in the presence of the aggressors. The reconstruction of Tigray is also impossible while occupational forces are on the ground and continuing to deliberately inflict maximum damage to public and private institutions. Therefore, we believe, the unconditional and immediate withdrawal of Eritrean army from Tigray should be the beginning of any peace process, successful delivery of humanitarian aid and commencement of rehabilitation activities.
In a blatant disregard and disdain to the international community’s call for the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Tigray, the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments had been persistently denying the involvement and presence of Eritrean forces. We have now learned, the Eritrean government has officially admitted its rouge troops had had crossed the Ethio-Eritrean international boarder; and now the Eritrean government has declared it has agreed with Ethiopia at the highest levels to embark on the withdrawal of its forces”.
Although we have been demanding as such; unfortunately, it’s very difficult for us to accept the gesture made by the Eritrean government. A similar promise was made by Ethiopian prime minister on March 26/2021; only for Eritrean troops to flood Tigray in tens of thousands and continue their systematic killings after the announcement. The recent shootings in the town of Adwa and its vicinity are good cases in this point. A classified document of the Eritrean government about the performance of Eritrean troops in the war, leaked by Eritrean opposition forces, also show that the Eritrean government is determined to boost its presence and its genocidal acts in Tigray rather than contemplating to withdraw its forces. As we write this letter, heavy fighting is underway across Tigray, amid land transport blockade and communication blackout in most parts of the region. In addition, it has become a common scene to watch Eritrean troops in Ethiopian military uniforms. Given the recent developments, past records of broken promises and general behavior of the Eritrean and Ethiopian government, we strongly believe that it will be naivety to take their words for granted.
We, therefore, call upon the international community, particularly the UNSC to
- Ensure the Eritrean government stops the theatre and comply with the international community’s demands to immediately withdraw its forces from Tigray
- Ensure all Eritrean troops make an internationally monitored immediate withdrawal; and
- Ensure a deep, independent and international investigation of the egregious war crimes and crimes against humanity committed and make sure the perpetrators are not allowed to go with impunity.
Finally, now that we all got our proof of Eritrean army’s heavy presence in Tigray; allowing the ill-oriented Eritrean troops to stay more days will be a permit for more war crimes to be committed, more women and girls to be sexually abused and more people to die of starvation. It is our best hope, that the international community specifically the UNSC will take all the appropriate actions necessary to avert a looming human disaster in Tigray and firmly stand to defend humanity.
- United Nations (UN) Secretary-General
- Permanent and non-permanent representatives of UNSC member states
- European union
- United states of America (USA) President Special Envoy to Ethiopia