February 1, 2023

Tigrayan protesters tell Biden Ethiopia peace accord falling apart and immediate action needed to stop ‘800 days of Tigray genocide’

Tigrayan and Eritrean protesters outside the White House in Washington DC on Friday, January 13, 2023, to demand peace and justice for Tigray and a regime change in Eritrea - Photo: Simon Ateba/Today News Africa
Tigrayan and Eritrean protesters outside the White House in Washington DC on Friday, January 13, 2023, to demand peace and justice for Tigray and a regime change in Eritrea - Photo: Simon Ateba/Today News Africa

The well celebrated peace agreement reached in South Africa last November between the federal government of Ethiopia and Tigrayan authorities is falling apart, and United States President Joseph R. Biden Jr. should take immediate action to prevent further suffering and stop ‘800 days of Tigray genocide’, protesters said outside the White House on Friday.

The protesters also called on Eritrean forces to immediately leave Tigray, asserting that since the peace accord was reached on November 2, 2022, thousands of Tigrayans have continued to be killed by Eritrean forces who still occupy their land.

They gathered outside the White House to mark what they described as ‘800 days of Tigray genocide’, the period between when the war started on November 4, 2020, and now.

They said that the implementation of the peace agreement has not gone beyond Mekelle, the capital of Tigray, and that the vast majority of the people in Tigray remain hungry and under hostile Eritrean occupation.

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. delivers remarks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in Washington, D.C. on December 14, 2022. [State Department photo by Freddie Everett/
President Joseph R. Biden Jr. delivers remarks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in Washington, D.C. on December 14, 2022. [State Department photo by Freddie Everett/

“We want peace, that’s what we want,” a protester told Today News Africa during an interview. “We want President Biden to stop this genocide.”

Brandishing banners and placards, the protesters who gathered under an organization known as Peace Campaign with Ethiopia and Eritrea, also called for a regime change in Eritrea where Isaias Afwerki has been president since shortly after he led the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front to victory in May 1991, ending the 30-year-old war for independence from Ethiopia.

The protesters said that 6.5 million people in Tigray continue to face man-made famine, more than 2.2 million civilians remain internally displaced, over 500,000 Tigrayans have been killed since the war began in 2020, at least 75,000 fled to neighboring Sudan while 80 percent of hospitals and health facilities have been destroyed.

They noted that Western Tigray and Northern Eastern Tigray remain under the occupation of Eritrean troops and Amhara militia since Nov 3, 2022, meaning that 65 percent of Tigray remains under hostile occupation. Those parts of the Tigray region are said to be completely inaccessible to any humanitarian organizations. 

Eden Kassa, the co-founder of Legacy Tigray Advocacy cited a 2022 Human Rights Watch report that stated that Western Tigray was under annexation by the Amhara militia who were forcibly displacing Tigrayans and allegedly conducting mass detention, rape and extrajudicial killings.

“In addition, areas of Tigray that were liberated before CoHA are now under occupation of Eritrea and Amhara militia, Shire, Adwa, Adigrat, and Axum,” Kassa said.

“Residents of these areas have shared photographs showing the presence of these forces looting civilian properties and eye witnesses reported that close to 4000 civilians were killed by the Amhara militias and Eritrean forces,” she added.

On January 4, 2023, the Director General of the World Health Organization Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a Tigrayan himself, acknowledged progress in Ethiopia’s Tigray region but warned that Eritrean forces continue to ‘massacre’ civilians and must withdraw from Tigray.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during the opening of the 151st session of the Executive Board on 30 May 2022. This second shorter meeting of the year is a follow-up to the World Health Assembly. The Executive Board is composed of 34 technically qualified members elected for three-year terms. The main functions of the Board are to implement the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, and advise and generally to facilitate its work.

Speaking at the WHO news briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, Dr. Ghebereysus said that since the peace agreement between the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali and Tigrayan authorities was reached in South Africa last November, there has been progress on food and medicine deliveries and the resumption of basic services such as banking and telecommunication.

“On Tigray, of course after the peace agreement, the signing, there is progress now. In food delivery, there is progress, in medicine, there is progress,” he said, noting that there are still many areas that are not yet covered.

The WHO boss, however, warned that Eritrean forces continue to put the fragile peace at risk by killing civilians and must withdraw from Tigray.

“I think the only problem now… is the continued occupation of Tigray by Eritrean army, and as we speak they are massacring civilians, they continue to massacre civilians,” Dr. Ghebreyesus said. “We believe that could affect the peace agreement. And I think the international community should help in making sure that Eritrea respects the peace deal and withdraw from Tigray and stop the massacre.”

On December 30, 2022, the United States government applauded another important step towards peace in northern Ethiopia, adding that it is ready to help.

The latest step was the signing and launch of the African Union’s Monitoring, Verification and Compliance Mission (AU-MVCM) in Mekele, Tigray.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken described the move as an “important step toward securing lasting peace for the people of northern Ethiopia.”

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken meets with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Washington, D.C. on December 13, 2022. [State Department photo by Freddie Everett
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken meets with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Washington, D.C. on December 13, 2022. [State Department photo by Freddie Everett

“The United States stands ready to support the AU-MVCM and full implementation of the cessation of hostilities agreement (COHA), which includes disarmament of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) combatants, withdrawal of Eritrean forces, unimpeded humanitarian access, resumption of essential services, and implementation of transitional justice,” Blinken wrote in a statement.

Tigrayan and Eritrean protesters outside the White House in Washington DC on Friday, January 13, 2023, to demand peace and justice for Tigray and a regime change in Eritrea - Photo: Simon Ateba/Today News Africa
Tigrayan and Eritrean protesters outside the White House in Washington DC on Friday, January 13, 2023, to demand peace and justice for Tigray and a regime change in Eritrea – Photo: Simon Ateba/Today News Africa

He added, “We call on the parties to ensure the protection of civilians as mandated in the COHA and believe the AU-MVCM should play an important role in monitoring and verifying respect for human rights throughout the former conflict areas. 

“We commend the AU and its High-Level Panel for facilitating agreement on the AU-MVCM.  We look forward to working with AU panel members and the parties to expedite full implementation of the COHA that leads to lasting peace for the benefit of all Ethiopians. 

Tigrayan and Eritrean protesters outside the White House in Washington DC on Friday, January 13, 2023, to demand peace and justice for Tigray and a regime change in Eritrea - Photo: Simon Ateba/Today News Africa
Tigrayan and Eritrean protesters outside the White House in Washington DC on Friday, January 13, 2023, to demand peace and justice for Tigray and a regime change in Eritrea – Photo: Simon Ateba/Today News Africa

“The United States will also continue to support the AU’s mandate to prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts and promote peace, security, and stability on the continent.”

Tigrayan and Eritrean protesters outside the White House in Washington DC on Friday, January 13, 2023, to demand peace and justice for Tigray and a regime change in Eritrea - Photo: Simon Ateba/Today News Africa
Tigrayan and Eritrean protesters outside the White House in Washington DC on Friday, January 13, 2023, to demand peace and justice for Tigray and a regime change in Eritrea – Photo: Simon Ateba/Today News Africa
Tigrayan and Eritrean protesters outside the White House in Washington DC on Friday, January 13, 2023, to demand peace and justice for Tigray and a regime change in Eritrea - Photo: Simon Ateba/Today News Africa
Tigrayan and Eritrean protesters outside the White House in Washington DC on Friday, January 13, 2023, to demand peace and justice for Tigray and a regime change in Eritrea – Photo: Simon Ateba/Today News Africa

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Jumbo
Jumbo
16 days ago

Tplf terrorists are trying to destroy the peace process

Abyssinian
Abyssinian
16 days ago

Tigrinya speakers both in Ethiopia and Eritrea are not very smart… at all. That’s why the whole region has resentment towards them. They were never qualified to run the two governments, but they were supported by Western countries. Now everything has become a disastrous mess; unimaginable confusion, and a life full of misery. Their leaders tell them to protest so now it’s been over 800 days of nonsensical screaming. My heart goes out to all the young children who have to deal with these conflicts. It could all be so simple.

ETE
ETE
15 days ago
Reply to  Abyssinian

Tigrinya speakers both in Ethiopia and Eritrea are not very smart… at all. That’s why the whole region has resentment towards them. 

First off, don’t lump Tigrayans with Tigrinia speaking Eritreans. Second, stop projecting on Eritrea being allegedly supported by Western nations. Lets address Western support for Ethiopian Empire including acquisition of Eritrea, how the US and Soviet Union supported Ethiopian imperialism of Eritrea. And who exactly is the region that resents Eritrea?

Perhaps some Ethiopians who long for bahri and glory of empire days. That will not happen. The fact that the US has been anti-Eritrea since the 1940s to the present (except Trumps administration) disputes your lies.

Lets also mention Treaty of Wuchale between Abysinnian Empire and Kingdom of Italy at Eritrea’s expense. And address US grafting Eritrea to Ethiopian Empire in exchange for US NSA/Military base in Asmara to spy on the world.

I’m not letting you deceivers slander my people ever again. You should be eternally grateful for if not for Eritrea, Ethiopia would be in major chaos and dysfunction as a result of US-backed Tigrayan.

The fact that Eritrea has endured and survived until this present, we are more than capable over you.

Now Abyssinian, prove to me how America helped America when they were the ones who grafted us to you, and the British in league supported splitting Eritrea between Ethiopia and Sudan, using Tigrayan shifta to start religious conflict among Eritreans before our elders stopped it.

Come on, prove it.

ETE
ETE
15 days ago
Reply to  ETE

*America helped Eritrea

ETE
ETE
15 days ago

Btw Simon, why don’t you mention that TPLF is American-backed, and lets also discuss that “Dr Tedros” is a high ranking TPLF. But you never mention that. Perhaps you’re being financially sponsored by Tigray?

Oh well, keep getting shut down by Biden & Co.

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