Washington DC – The American Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee (AEPAC) has urged the United States Government to condemn renewed attacks by the rebel insurgency Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in Ethiopia, and call on the group to lay down their arms and return to the African Union led peace talks.
To date, the American Ethiopian community has been disappointed with the United States Government’s approach to the conflict, which has been perceived as more favourable to the TPLF terrorist group than the democratically elected government of Ethiopia. However, in recent months the US has taken a more balanced position as the Ethiopian Government demonstrated its commitment to peace through the release of TPLF prisoners, initiating a humanitarian ceasefire and wholeheartedly supporting African Union peace talks.
In contrast the TPLF insurgency used the truce to undertake a programme of forced mass conscription including the recruitment of more child soldiers. In August they rejected the African Union peace process, looted 12 fuel tankers from a World Food Programme warehouse and invaded towns in Amhara, ending the 5-month ceasefire.
Executive Chairman of AEPAC Mesfin Tegenu said:
“For the past two years the US Government has stayed silent on the actions of the TPLF. Many atrocities were committed and reported but were only ever met with silence. That is now unsustainable, and the time has come for the US to condemn the TPLF.
“In a sign of diaspora solidarity, AEPAC, together with partner organisations, will be participating in “rallies for peace” in major cities across the United States, with a main protest being held in Washington DC on September 6th.
“The rallies will have a clear objective – to call on the US Government to support peace over violence in Ethiopia
“We hope the rallies will send a message that Ethiopians want peace and prosperity, not war.
“Our message is clear:
- The TPLF must lay down its arms and end its attacks on the Ethiopian people
- The African Union peace process must be given a chance to succeed
- International human rights organisations should investigate the TPLF’s use of child soldiers as a matter of urgency
- The US should support these steps by condemning the actions of the TPLF
- International media outlets must apply robust scrutiny to the vast amount of misinformation coming from the TPLF leadership
- The Ethiopian people and its elected government should defend the country’s sovereignty, protect communities from the TPLF attacks and communicate clearly with the international community
“The only way to give peace a chance for the people of Ethiopia and ensure stability in Horn of Africa is to end the TPLF’s violence. AEPAC will continue to engage US legislators and the administration to educate them on the facts on the ground and views of the diaspora.”
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About AEPAC: The mission of American Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee (AEPAC) is to strengthen and foster the U.S.-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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