A Joint Press Release by Tigray Independence Party (TIP), Salsay Weyane Tigray (SAWET), and National Congress of Great Tigray (Baytona) on the Current Situation in Tigray
It has been almost three months since the unelected Ethiopian government officially declared a total war against the people of Tigray. This war is a war to deny people’s constitutional right to self-government and self-determination as it is imposed on Tigray because Tigray defied the decision to postpone the sixth round election. This war, ostensibly declared in the name of ‘law enforcement’, deployed not only the Ethiopian defense force in its full capacity but also the ill-oriented Eritrean army in full capacity, regional state special police forces, Amhara militia, mercenaries from Somalia/Moqadisho and a technological support of non-African actors.
Since the start of this ominous war, more than 52,000 innocent civilians; including children, women, youth, elders and religious fathers; have been slaughtered indiscriminately. Towns and villages have been demolished by a blind artillery shelling, our health and educational facilities have been looted and destroyed and, to the surprise of any sane mind, our religious institutions have also been attacked and their sacred possessions plundered.
Extra-judicial killings and gang rapes have become every day practices of the aggressors. The rape that these forces are committing is so egregious that it includes forcing at gun point a father to do it on his daughter. Moreover, in fear of these abominable horrors of the invading forces, more than 3 million people have left their homes and become internally displaced with in Tigray, while around 150,000 have migrated to other parts of Ethiopia, although they couldn’t escape ethnic profiling there too. Moreover, tens of thousands have fled to Sudan to escape from the atrocities in their homeland. The government and people of Sudan had always been a friend in need to the people of Tigray and we express our deepest gratitude for continuing to be one.
At this moment, more than 6.5 million people, including the internally displaced, are in need of urgent humanitarian aid. In fact, we have started to witness death of innocent civilians due to hunger even by the admission of ‘officials’ of the so-called provisional ‘government’ in Tigray. It should be noted that this hunger is man-made as we are aware that more than 4.8 million livestock have been butchered and raided, crops in fields have been burned and almost everything that the invading forces found in a Tigrayan home is looted and what is left of that is burned.
The Ethiopian government is using hunger as a weapon to subdue Tigray since it has been obstructing international efforts for humanitarian assistance. Keeping Tigray detached from the world by blocking internet and telephone communication is part of the strategy to obstruct helping the people of Tigray. Therefore, unless an urgent intervention is made by the international community to make food and medicine available to our people within days, we are afraid the looming humanitarian disaster of biblical proportion will become a gruesome reality in Tigray and humanity will be left to rue that.
We, therefore, call up on the international community for action
- to ensure an immediate withdrawal of the invading Eritrean army.
- to ensure an immediate withdrawal of the aggressor Ethiopian army, Amhara militia and regional special police forces from Tigray land.
- to ensure a secure access and direct humanitarian assistance in Tigray.
- to ensure an unrestricted access to the international media to get to Tigray and cover what is happening.
- to ensure a deep, independent and international investigation of the egregious war crimes and crimes against humanity that are committed by all forces that wreaked havoc in Tigray and make the perpetrators accountable.
- to press the Ethiopian government to stop the ongoing war in Tigray and start a dialogue process aiming at resolving the political problems in Tigray and Ethiopia.
Tigray will prevail!!
Tigray Independence Party (TIP)
Salsay Weyane Tigray (SAWET)
National Congress of Great Tigray (Baytona)
February 2021, Mekelle-Tigray