Diaspora associations caution against negotiations with TPLF

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Several diaspora associations warned the government against any negotiation efforts with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), saying it would be detrimental in its results.

In a joint statement by three US-based organizations issued on January 2, 2022, the associations stressed that this is an effort by the TPLF intended to trick the international community to pursue similar approaches applied elsewhere.

The organizations, the Global Ethiopian Scholars Initiative (GESI), People to People, Inc. (P2P), and the Worldwide Ethiopian Civic Association Network (WE-CAN), also opposed the policy of Western countries to pressure the government to engage in negotiations with the TPLF.

“We believe that the hypocritical call for ‘negotiations’ is a sinister ploy intended
to establish a formal process that automatically gives ‘equal status’ and
legitimacy to the terrorist group, while weakening and compromising the
sovereignty of the Government as an enforcer of the rule of law across the land,” they said, adding, “It is common knowledge that these so-called ‘negotiated political settlements’ have all but undermined legitimate governments, while leading to failed outcomes.”

Arguments that the TPLF is lobbying and financing propaganda by “embezzled” money have started to gain influence around this dominant narrative. Hence, they advised the government not to fall for this ploy and look for accountability of the perpetrators who committed “’high crimes’ including mass murder and treason.”

In this regard, they requested for the TPLF and its ally the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)-Shene group, both ascribed as terrorists, to surrender, to uphold the rule of law.

“The failure of these terrorist groups to submit to the call for surrender would, in our view, justify a heightened military offensive against the rebels, as a prelude toward the implementation of a national dialogue process framed in the rule of law independence from political influence, and achievement of lasting peace through justice, truth and reparations,” they said.

Similarly, in a statement Vision Ethiopia issued on January 3, 2022, gave recognition to “the central government’s recent rejection of calls for negotiations with the terrorist groups and encourages the government to remain unwavering in upholding this position.”

Although Vision Ethiopia believes that, “terrorist groups and their leaders who have committed egregious crimes against humanity should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of national and international laws,” it also accused the government for its failures to protect civilians from attacks.

Indicating that the July 2021 unilateral ceasefire as well as the recent halt in offensives as “perplexing,” giving a space for the TPLF to continue its attacks on civilians, Vision Ethiopia also accused the government of its failure to deal with the matter as it warrants.

“The government should not covertly or overtly thwart the efforts of the local people to organize and defend themselves. There is no doubt that the government’s ambivalence and reluctance to deal with the terrorists has been the primary reason for the ongoing tribulations, including the November 2020 attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Forces, the recent destruction in the Afar and Amhara regions, and the unbridled assault against Amharas and other Orthodox Christians by OLF-Shene,” reads the statement.

Previously, the TPLF requested for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in a letter wrote to the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres. It also said it withdrew from the Amhara and Afar regions to “give peace a chance.”

Source: The Reporter



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