Ethiopia: ‘Opportunity Must Not Be Lost’ – Five Former U.S. Ambassadors to Ethiopia on Events in Tigray

Ethiopia: ‘Opportunity Must Not Be Lost’ – Five Former U.S. Ambassadors to Ethiopia on Events in Tigray

The UN and human rights groups have warned seven months of fighting has hampered food security in Tigray with a real risk of famine.
30 JUNE 2021

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.

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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.


  1. The Tigray Government as the legitimate representative of the people and offended part , has forwarded 7precoditions in order to accept the ceasefire.
    I think it is well balanced and reasonable demand, after all they had put in line their lives in order to defend their people, their country and their dignity. All the suffering and sacrifices should not be in vain.
    Therefore such request should be supported.

  2. You called “Tigray government as a legitimate representative of people” is using those 7 precautions to continue war in civilians living in Tigray and area. More than 300 Eritrean refugees and others were massacred in Tigray since rebel groups took over Tigray. If rebels really concerned for people of Tigray and region, they have to accept a cease fire without any precondition.

  3. I am tired of all games played by the rogue Abiy Government. He says different things in different languages and to different target groups. His Amharic rhetorics make it very clear that he did not run away because of the ceasefire. If it were about the ceasefire, there was no reason for destroying bridges, closing banks, looting the people, blackout of electricity, and telecommunications. He is dealing with something we call filibustering to prepare for more atrocities. I recommend all who want to know the progress seriously to follow up his speech in Amharic with different target groups in Ethiopia. Here is one of them.

    Here is a summary in a nutshell, of what Abiy says on the meeting he had a few days ago with the Government near journalist regarding the retreat from Tigrai.

    “2 years ago the economy and importance of Tigray and Mekel were higher than even in other parts of Ethiopia. Why did we leave Mekele (the capital city of Tigray)? Now it is totally uninteresting and not better than any useless village in Ethiopia (in my view he is verifying the lootings and destruction of Tigra). In fact when we left there is nothing there except some thieves and criminals.

    it is of great importance that your narration should be in line with this to make our victory great. This is what is good journalism. You should close your ears to facts and information you dislike and repeat the information you want people to believe att.

    One other reason to leave Mekele was that the people we were helping, the people we gave food and oil, and the people we were protecting were biting us behind. They used knives or whatever they had against us (It is beyond human imagination the way he argues. He plays himself and the army for a pray) We spent 100 billion birrs which is 13 times the budget of Tigray and yet they were unthankful (It is so fascinating how this guy can twist things. The money he spent to kill, rape and humiliate the people of Tigray is all of a sudden presented as if it was for their good case). The whole population, including the priests and mothers, were unthankful and hostile to us. We had to move to a friendly land (assuming the people of Tigray are enemies.”

    If you understand, this is about instigating the people of Ethiopia against all Tigrians. Already, the Tigrians in Addis are experiencing more arrests and intimidations. If the world community does not warn him, he may initiate the killings of Tigrians by his base in Addis.

    You will hear and see contradicting statements in the following weeks. There is no honest ambition to solve the situation in a peaceful way.

  4. Tibor nagy has no moral ground to preach peace . In the early days of the war he had applauded the eritrean regime for not engaging in the war despite they committed countless crimes in civilians.
    Tibor is apartial . He is best friend of birhanu nega current advisor of abiy ahmed and he hates tplf and meles.

  5. Is there truly an opportunity that must not be lost?

    The answer is no, because Ethiopia is not willing to end the Tigray crisis peacefully. However, the concern of the ambassadors over the war declared on the people of Tigray is appreciated.

    Ethiopian Government’s declaration of a cease fire on June 28, 2021 is just a tactic to gain time and prepare for another war against people of Tigray. If Ethiopia is sincere to resolve the Tigray crises, the only option it has is to accept the demand of the legitimate government of Tigray and the elected leaders the people of Tigray.

    In short: There is no peace offered by the Ethiopian Government to end the suffering of the Tigray people. Therefore, we call on all peace loving people to pressure Ethiopia to stop all types of war declared against the people of Tigray. Moreover, the Ethiopian, Eritrean and Amahara forces must leave Tigray, immediately.

    Victory to the people of Tigray!!!!

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