Ethiopia: ‘Opportunity Must Not Be Lost’ – Five Former U.S. Ambassadors to Ethiopia on Events in Tigray
By Ambassadors David H. Shinn, Vicki J. Huddleston, Patricia M. Haslach, Aurelia E. Brazeal and Tibor P. Nagy
Washington, DC — This statement was provided to AllAfrica by five former American ambassadors who led U.S. representation in Ethiopia for 13 of the past 25 years. The career diplomats welcome the cease-fire declaration by the Ethiopian government and issue an urgent call for humanitarian relief to the strife-torn Tigray region.
We the undersigned former U.S. Chiefs of Mission to Ethiopia, having closely followed the tragic conflict in Tigray which erupted in November 2020, were greatly relieved at the chance for an end to the suffering and a hope for peace offered by the Ethiopian Government’s declaration of a cease fire on June 28, 2021.
We believe this is an opportunity which must not be lost, and in that regard urge the following:
- All sides involved in the conflict should immediately accept the offered cease fire.
- Immediately open all areas which suffered conflict to humanitarian relief agencies to provide assistance to those in need.
- Withdrawal of all outside forces from the conflict zone.
- All sides involved in the conflict should also use the opportunity offered by the cease fire to undertake serious discussions to make peace permanent, and also negotiate the future status of Tigray acceptable to all parties.
- Strongest support possible to advance peace and reconciliation from the international community including bilaterally from all of Ethiopia’s partners and neighbors and from multilateral institutions and civil society. In this regard, as soon as peace is established, we call for an international conference to bring together all stakeholders to discuss joint relief and rehabilitation efforts in all areas which have been impacted by the conflict.
- Encourage the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to move forward quickly with their joint investigation into the human rights violations and abuses allegedly committed by all parties in the Tigray conflict.