The American-Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee (AEPAC) has written to Secretary Blinken to call for immediate sanctions against the leadership of the TPLF
The calls follow an Amnesty International report published on November 9th 2021, highlighting the testimony of sixteen women from the town of Nifas Mewcha in Ethiopia’s Amhara region. The TPLF attacked the town in mid-August, as verified by Amnesty International. Survivors were raped at gunpoint, robbed, and subjected to physical and verbal assaults by TPLF fighters, who also destroyed and looted medical facilities in the town. Furthermore, Amnesty reported 14 of the 16 women interviewed said they were gang raped.
In the letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Chairman of AEPAC Mesfin Tegenu writes: “This is the latest in a series of awful atrocities committed by the TPLF. They have expanded the war far beyond the regional borders of Tigray into the neighbouring provinces of Afar and Amhara.”
The letter also references USAID’s Mission Director for Ethiopia, Simon Jones, who previously confirmed TPLF forces had looted humanitarian aid. And an Ethiopian Human Rights Commission published report confirming the TPLF had killed more than 150 civilians in the Amhara region on suspicion of being informants or offering aid to government forces in early November.
Despite such reported atrocities the TPLF has faced no sanctions or other punitive actions by the US Government or other leading members of the international community.
However, the US and others have pursued aggressive measures against the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea including visa restrictions and delisting Ethiopia from the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) for their role in the conflict.
The Ethiopian-American community has consistently warned that the current US policy position is perceived as biased and overtly favouring the TPLF rebels, which has at times emboldened them to expand their aggression.
Mr Tegenu adds: “Many members of the TPLF leadership have significant foreign assets and capital. Sanctions against these individuals and the organization would not only damage their operational ability thus easing tensions in Ethiopia and forcing the TPLF to consider a ceasefire, but it would also demonstrate a balanced foreign policy from the United States that is reflective of the current context of the conflict that the people of Ethiopia are enduring.”
Copy of the letter is available HERE
The mission of American Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee (AEPAC) is to strengthen and foster the US-Ethiopia relationship, enhance both countries security interests, as well as advance democracy, respect for human rights and free market entrepreneurship in Ethiopia.
AEPAC is a voluntary, non-profit, non-connected, public affairs organization that is not affiliated with any political party nor with any specific candidate for election.
AEPAC engages with and educate US government officials, law makers, non-government organizations and the general public at all levels about the bonds that unite the two countries, with a particular emphasis on how AEPAC serves America’s best interest by strengthening the over a century old bond with one of its oldest allies.
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