Ethiopia: A call to the International Community to stop the war

To President Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and African Union Chair

Dear President Ramaphosa,

We the undersigned respectfully request that your influential offices exert pressure on the Ethiopian Government to solve its internal dispute with the regional Government in Tigray peacefully and through dialogue. To this end, we plead with you to also exert pressure on the Eritrean Government to stop interfering in Ethiopian internal affairs and refrain from getting involved in the conflict.

The Ethiopian-Tigray war will have a devastating ramification for the Ethiopian people, and the Horn of Africa in general. It will have serious repercussions on the influx of refugees from Ethiopia to the West that will make the inflow of Eritrean refugees a drop in the ocean. It will shatter the Ethiopian economy, which saw the fastest growth in Africa over the last decade. This war will bring untold poverty and perhaps famine akin to the tragic situation we witnessed in the mid-70s which was caused by war.

Ethiopia had enjoyed an encouraging respite of relative peace and promising development trajectory in the last three decades. In contrast and despite the enormous sacrifices made to liberate the country, Eritrea has been ruled under the dictatorship of President Isaias Afwerki who is accountable to only himself. In 1998-2000, more than 70,000 lives perished in the unnecessary border war with Ethiopia and the country is yet to recover from its devastating effects.

Now and yet again, the people of Eritrea are being dragged into a new conflict. There are reliable reports that confirm Eritrea’s involvement in this conflict with its forces been deployed in the Eastern and Western regions bordering Tigray in support of the Ethiopian army. There have also been sightings of Ethiopian military units inside Eritrean territory.

There is no justifiable national interest for Eritrean involvement in Ethiopia’s internal affairs. This war could culminate in the death of tens of thousands of Eritreans. Ethiopia is a friendly country that hosts hundreds of thousands of Eritrean refugees. These refugees now face revenge attacks by angry Ethiopians protesting Eritrea’s involvement.

We believe political differences within Ethiopia can and should only be resolved peacefully through dialogue, facilitated by religious and civic societies within the country and the International Community.

On behalf of the Eritrean People, we the undersigned human rights and civil societies call upon the African Union and the rest of the international community to intervene to stop this unwarranted and unnecessary war.  We also call on the Eritrean Government to stop meddling in Ethiopia’s internal affairs, and for the Ethiopian Government to withdraw its forces from Eritrea.

Thank you.

Eritrean Yiakl Mass Movement – Canada

Eritrean Yiakl Mass Movement – Denmark

Eritrean Yiakl Mass Movement – France

Eritrean Yiakl Mass Movement – South Africa

Eritrean Yiakl Mass Movement – Sweden

Eritrean Yiakl Mass Movement – Switzerland

Eritrean Yiakl Mass Movement – UK

Eritrean Yiakl Mass Movement – USA

Eritrea Focus

Eritrean Women Network – UK

Eritreischer Verein für Demokratie, Kultur und voneinander Lernen e.V. – Germany

Foundation of Human Rights for Eritreans in Holland

Human Rights Concern Eritrea

Release Eritrea

Eritrean Institute of Policy and Strategy

Snitna Eritrean Network Group

A call to the International Community to stop the war in Ethiopia, November 7, 2020