A Plea by Hope for Peace
Since 2018, Ethiopia has been going through one of the most difficult periods of its history. This ancient country of more than 120 million people – representing roughly 10% of the African population – has been torn by internal and external forces who stand to gain from the resulting chaos and instability they create. Despite the optimistic outlook following the Pretoria peace agreement inked in November 2022, the failure to fully implement its provisions to bring a lasting peace has left us disheartened. One year later, the northern region has not returned to normalcy and many people are dying every day of hunger and lack of basic medical care. The displaced did not return to their homes and continue to endure a state of despair.
Prior to the peace accord, by some estimates, more than a million armed and unarmed civilians are believed to have perished, with the brunt of the devastation concentrated in the northern regions, notably Tigray, but also Amhara and Afar. Tigray’s blockade and isolation from the world for over two years – a characteristic of the present central government led by Abiy Ahmed – have inflicted indescribable suffering. To this day, the region is passing through a large-scale economic, social, political, and humanitarian catastrophe.
What happened in Tigray is now tragically repeating itself in the Amhara region. The region is practically cutoff from the rest of the world. The ordinary people there have become the subject of raids and drone attacks on a regular basis. Just as in Tigray, the Amhara people are not only dying from bombs and bullets but also of hunger and lack of basic medical care. Innocent citizens’ lives are further marred by arbitrary detentions, intimidations, and seizure of assets, causing profound disruptions and distress. This region of tens of millions of people is descending into a ruin as we watch, as Tigray did before it.
The people of both regions Tigray and Amhara are succumbing to hunger for the first time since the famine of 1984-85. Despite the central government’s responsibility to provide aid promptly, it has failed to do so and denied culpability, resulting in the tragic loss of lives due to starvation. This stark reality underscores the extent to which the peoples of both regions are neglected by the prevailing regime, putting their very existence in peril.
In contrast to the historical role of Ethiopian central governments as stabilizing entities, the present administration has taken an alarming turn, transforming into a focal point of turmoil that intentionally fosters hostility and discord among regions, nations, and communities. This trend is notably pronounced in the northern regions, where there is compelling evidence to suggest that the government was and still is actively exacerbating tensions between the Tigray and Amhara communities. This dangerous trend of pitting people against each other must come to an end immediately.
Ethiopia as a whole is suffering from severe economic downturn, evident in the surging inflation rates and elevated unemployment levels, primarily attributable to the ongoing and past conflicts that have plagued the nation. Hunger is spreading throughout the country. Citizens’ mobility is significantly restricted due to the worsening security situation. The nation consistently struggles to meet its external debt obligations, frequently falling short on interest payments. Against this backdrop, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s recent assertion of the right to sea access and the ensuing turmoil underscores a troubling disconnect from reality. The failure of recent peace negotiations between the central government and the Oromo Liberation Army is further indication of that reality.
With multiple wars and conflicts going on around the country, including inside two of the most populous regions Amhara and Oromia, Hope for Peace believes the downward spiral will continue unabated absent robust intervention. As the nation hurtles towards an abyss of further strife and despair, it is incumbent upon the international community to intervene decisively. We implore nations worldwide to direct their attention to Ethiopia, a country of immense historic and strategic importance and the seat of the African Union. This appeal includes exerting the necessary pressure on all conflicting parties and the urgent provision of essential humanitarian aid to all affected regions without delay. Failure to act may well result in one of the largest state failures in recent history, with consequences reverberating not only within Ethiopia but throughout the Horn of Africa and beyond. Now, more than ever, the clarion call for peace demands a collective and resounding response from both Ethiopians and the international community.
Hope for Peace, North America
Peace for Our Existence!
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