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Ethio-Canadian Network for Advocacy and Support writes to Canada’s FM over Ambassador Stephane Jobin engagement with TPLF

Ethio-Canadian  Network for Advocacy and Support  _ Letter _ TPLF

borkena
Updated on August 8,2022 5:47 P.M. Toronto time

The Ethio-Canadian Network for Advocacy and Support on Monday wrote a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada expressing “extreme disappointment” over the way the Canadian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Stephane Jobin, behaved in engaging with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Ambassador Stephane Jobin poses for picture with TPLF leaders in Mekelle
Canadian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Stephane Jobin, (first left) is posed for picture with TPLF chairman Debretsion (middle) and Getachew Reda TPLF spokesperson (right) in Mekelle last week (Photo : from the twitter handle of Ambassador Stephane Jobin)

The letter informs Mélanie Joly, Canada’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, about TPLF war crimes including recruiting child soldiers and the destruction it caused in the Amhara and Afar regions of Ethiopia.

“Canada has never supported an outlawed terrorist group abroad, nor should it start doing  now, or any time in the future,” the Network said.

It is indicated that seven Ethiopian organizations in different parts of Canada have endorsed the message.

The Advocacy group said “Ethiopian community feels that Canada’s position on the conflict, and its  communication with the government of Ethiopia, has reflected the democratic values,  norms and principles which Canada stands for.”

The full letter to Canada’s Minister for Foreign Affairs is featured below :

August 8, 2022  

The Honourable Mélanie Joly  
Minister of Foreign Affairs  
Global Affairs Canada  

Dear Minister Joly,  

We write to you on behalf of the Canada-wide Ethio-Canadian Network for Advocacy and  Support (ECNAS) and the ten provincial Canadian chapters which represent the large,  and very proud, Ethiopian community of Canada.  

We wish to communicate our extreme disappointment with Ambassador Stephane Jobin’s  recent engagement with leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), an  outlawed terrorist organization, under the guise of ‘Finding A Political Solution to the  Conflict in Northern Ethiopia’. This group of TPLF terrorist leaders not only murdered  thousands of soldiers across the federal armed forces’ northern command outposts – an  incident which triggered the war in northern Ethiopia – but has also caused enormous  levels of human and material destruction across the regional states of Tigray, Amhara,  Afar and Oromia. Most concerning has been the empirical evidence emerging and  corroborated across a number of credible and independent research reports confirming  that the TPLF forcibly recruited, trained and deployed child solders into a rebel force –  and arrested and imprisoned members of families who did not hand over their children  for this purpose. In addition to this international war crime, the forcible recruitment of  soldiers on leave from international peacekeeping missions into the rebel force is another  war crime under the Geneva Conventions on Prisoners of War.  

To date, the Ethiopian community feels that Canada’s position on the conflict, and its  communication with the government of Ethiopia, has reflected the democratic values,  norms and principles which Canada stands for. This, in our view, exudes its strength in  the world as a country which promotes inclusive peace, fairness, decency, and rule of  law.  

Whereas we appreciated Canada’s support for peacebuilding in Ethiopia, we feel that  Ambassador Jobin’s recent engagement with the TPLF leaders in Mekelle, which was  exposed to the world on social media, was unfortunate and counterproductive. We also  feel that Ambassador Jobin’s conduct in Mekelle compromised the reputation that  Canada has maintained through its fair, decent and respectful position towards Ethiopia’s  quest for sustained peace and stability. 

Ethio-Canadian Network for Advocacy and Support  (ECNAS)  

As a Canadian organization who work for democracy peace, equity, and justice in  Ethiopia, it was deeply troubling for Ethiopians across the world to see Ambassador Jobin  posing for a “selfie” with an outlawed terrorist organization and its leaders who committed  war crimes, genocide, rape and massacres of innocent children and women in the Afar,  Tigray, Amhara and Oromia regions.  

Despite the government of Ethiopia being clear in its briefing to the Ambassadors and  Envoys who visited Mekelle that peace talks would only be brokered by the African Union  (AU), this undiplomatic display of diplomacy has unfortunately been interpreted – rightly  or wrongly – as a cynical attempt to legitimize and embolden the illegitimate terrorist group  while undermining Ethiopia’s sovereignty, and the AU.  

Canada has never supported an outlawed terrorist group abroad, nor should it start doing  now, or any time in the future.  

It is our conviction that a lasting peace in Ethiopia can only be achieved by addressing  the violent ethnic federalism structure implanted by the TPLF terrorist organization and  by developing a culture of peace through true reconciliation, justice, and human-centred  approach; characteristics which Canada has become globally renowned to represent.  

As such, ECNAS requests an official apology from Ambassador Jobin, and Global Affairs  Canada, to the Ethiopian Canadian public, the Ethiopian people and the many victims of  the TPLF terrorist organization.  

Respectfully,  

Ethio-Canadian Network for Advocacy and Support (ECNAS)  

Endorsed by:  

Ethio-Canadian Community Association of London, Ontario  
Ethiopian Association in Halifax  
Ethiopian Association in Hamilton  
Ethiopian Association in the Greater Toronto Area  
Ethiopian Community Association of BC  
Ethiopian Canadian Human Right Association of BC  
Unity for Human Rights and Democracy  

Cc:  

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Member of Parliament, and Prime Minister of Canada  Stéphane Jobin, Ambassador of Canada to Ethiopia 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Any Western, European or Canadian who preached about democracy and the rule of law but caught befriending with and enabling Terrorist TPLF should face shame and disgrace wherever they go.

    Even to be held responsible for the silence of TPLF gruesome crimes and massacres against innocent Amharas including stealing land, Child soldier, rape, destruction of health, service, farms and poor villagers homes including stealing their food.

    This blood and land thirsty gang of criminals are not materials that deserve Canadian government official or any other country government officiasl to sit with unless the talk is to take them to International Criminals Court.

  2. Honestly, I don’t see any malice intention with the ambassador’s trip to Mekele and meeting with Debre and his group. In regards to the photo the first question came to my mind was who initiated it? As publicity savvy Debre and his group have been for decades I would not be surprised if it was not the ambassador who requested it. If I was in his position I would not turn it down either. Also it makes a good souvenir. We should also remember that the ambassador did not enter the region illegally by he went there with federal government’s permission and on an aircraft provided by EAL. Do we know what the ambassador told or discussed with Debre and his group? The ambassador must have reported the detail to his superiors. The main problem such groups in our Diaspora are facing in getting their cases heard is even though armed groups like the TPLF and Shane are designated as terrorists by the Ethiopian government but these two are not classified as such Canada, USA and EU. At least not yet. No other countries see these groups as terrorists yet. That includes neighboring countries of Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya and South Sudan. So it is going to be an uphill battle to get complaints heard. But there is one thing that is urgently and desperately need to take place as soon as possible. This stupid conflict should be brought to an end now, not next month or year but now.

    Meanwhile I want you all to take a very good look at this picture. Do those two guys, Debre and Getachew look as individuals who missed even a snack between their daily three meals? Look at them. Getachew is fat as a well fed walrus with ten hotdogs still wrapped around his neck. Look at that beer gut. Debre is not far behind either. Compare them to the emaciated faces we frequently see of the average citizens there. By their own admission people are starving in that region, right? This and previous photos of these two just make my blood boil. That is why I have been talking in utter contempt about all so-called ‘ethnic liberation fronts’. All of them were founded by conniving smart alecks and their ultimate plan has been to yank away a territory to call it their own personal fiefdom. Do you want me to give you evidence or examples? You’re looking at it!!!! Nuff said!!!

  3. This is for my very dear editors of this esteemed website. There is news coming out of the old country that a second turbine in the GERD dam has come into full operation. In the midst of all this depressing news bubbling out of that country we desperately need some thing to lighten us all up and this can be one of those. It will have nothing to do with extolling a seating regime. This is a dam built by the last penny of those glorious black folks. Such achievement by our matchless engineers is bad news for these bigots over there and here among our Diaspora. O you should see some of those loud mouths in Al-Qahirah are writing in their Arabic editions of their newspapers. Their latest cooked up story is there was a leak in the dam during the 2nd refill last year. They are telling their readers that was the reason why PM Abiy traveled there last year. They don’t tell their readers that a 3rd filling of the dam is underway because the average Egyptian does not notice any reduction in the flow of water coming his/her way with the Nile River. Not even a cup!!!

    As always a boat load of thank you for gracing us with stories that concern us all!!!

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