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Ethiopian Diaspora Organizations Issue Urgent Appeal To International Bodies Over Brutal Massacre In Merawi, Amhara, Ethiopia

Ethiopian Diaspora Organizations signatories to the appeal

Ethiopian Diaspora Organizations 

A coalition of prominent Ethiopian diaspora organizations, including the American Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee (AEPAC), Ethio-Canadian Network for Advocacy and Support (ECNAS), Ethiopian American Development Council (EADC), Ethiopian American Civic Council (EACC), Ethiopian Public Diplomacy Network (EPDN), Global Ethiopian Scholars Initiative (GESI), and New York Tristate Hope for Ethiopia (H4E), has jointly submitted an Urgent Appeal to Mr. Volker Türk, the United Nations Human Rights Commission High Commissioner in Geneva, and Judge Nawaf Salam, President of the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The appeal addresses the alarming and brutal massacre of civilians in the town of Merawi, Amhara, Ethiopia, and the ongoing Amhara Genocide, urging immediate international intervention to halt the escalating violence and human rights abuses.

In their collective statement, the organizations express deep concern for the deteriorating situation in Ethiopia and call for swift and decisive action from the international community. The Urgent Appeal highlights the urgent need for intervention to address the humanitarian crisis and protect innocent lives.

In their joint statement, the organizations call upon the international community to denounce the massacre and address the persistent government-sponsored massacres across the Amhara region over the past two years. The signatory organizations stress the importance of global awareness and collaboration to put an end to the violence and hold those responsible accountable for their actions. The Urgent Appeal serves as a unified voice from the Ethiopian diaspora, advocating for justice, peace, and the protection of human rights.

The appeal urges the United Nations Human Rights Commission and the International Court of Justice to take meaningful actions, including:

1.      Urging an independent investigation into the human rights violations and atrocities committed in Merawi and other parts of the Amhara region, aiming to hold perpetrators accountable.

2.      Implementing targeted sanctions against individuals and entities responsible for violence and human rights abuses in the Amhara region.

3.      Providing humanitarian aid and support to affected communities, including medical assistance, counseling, shelter, and food supplies.

4.      Utilizing diplomatic, development, and legal tools to compel the Ethiopian government to end the state of emergency and withdraw military presence from the Amhara regional state.

The signatory organizations believe that positive actions from the international bodies can ensure justice for the lives lost and prevent further violations of human rights.

The appeal letter is featured below : 

15th February 2024

His Excellency, Volker Türk
High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Human Rights Commission
Palais Wilson | 52 rue des Pâquis | CH-1201 Geneva | Switzerland

His Excellency, Judge Nawaf Salam

President, the International Court of Justice
Peace Palace | Carnegieplein 2 | 2517 KJ The Hague | The Netherlands

RE: Urgent Appeal – Brutal Massacre of Civilians in the Town of Merawi, Amhara, Ethiopia

Your Excellencies,

We, the undersigned civil society organizations of Ethiopians in the diaspora, pen this letter to express our profound sadness and shock concerning the tragic events that unfolded in the town of Merawi, Amhara Region, Ethiopia, on January 29, 2024. Perpetrated by the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), this incident resulted in the brutal massacre of scores of innocent civilians, spanning all age groups.

Reputable sources, including the Associated Press, BBC, and the Jerusalem Post, have reported on the door-to-door and street executions by ENDF security forces following heavy fighting between government forces and local militia insurgents. Eyewitnesses estimate the number of casualties between 150 and 200 individuals.

We commend the U.S. E.U. UK and Canadian governments’ call for an investigation into the reported massacre. We echo their deep concern and join them in demanding unrestricted access for independent human rights monitors to thoroughly investigate the matter and ensure an impartial inquiry that holds perpetrators accountable. 

We also call upon the international community to denounce the massacre, as well as the seven-month-long state of emergency and the persistent government-sponsored massacres across the Amhara region over the past two years. These actions have resulted in the tragic loss of thousands of innocent lives.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) stated that the commission has initiated an investigation into the massacre. However, the commission says that a lack of a response from the government and involved parties is creating difficulties in completing the investigation. Human Rights Watch had called for the international community and the United Nations to “maintain pressure” on the Ethiopian government to “ensure justice to the victims.”

The ongoing crisis and targeted violence against civilians demands immediate attention to end the suffering of countless victims. Reports and testimonies from survivors depict a horrific scene of widespread massacre, rape, torture, and the destruction of villages. Women and children have especially been victimized, facing sexual violence and exploitation on an unimaginable scale. Thousands of civilians have been incarcerated in concentration camps, and millions more have been displaced from their homes.

In light of these atrocities, we call upon the United Nations Human Rights Commission and The International Court of Justice to take meaningful actions, including but not limited to:

  1. Urging for an independent investigation into the human rights violations and atrocities committed in the town of Merawi and other parts of the Amhara region, with the aim of holding the perpetrators accountable for their actions.
  2. Implementing targeted sanctions against individuals and entities responsible for perpetrating violence and human rights abuses in the Amhara region.
  3. Providing humanitarian aid and support to affected communities, including medical assistance, counseling, shelter, and food supplies.
  4. Using all diplomatic, development, and legal tools to compel the government of Ethiopia to immediately end the seven-month-long state of emergency, which has given security forces unchecked powers over Amhara civilians, and to withdraw military presence from the Amhara regional state without delay.

Your positive actions in this matter can ensure that the lives lost in Merawi and other parts of the Amhara region will not be forgotten and that violators of human rights will be held accountable for their crimes. 

Sincerely,

Signatory Organizations
American Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee (AEPAC)
Ethio-Canadian Network for Advocacy and Support (ECNAS)
Ethiopian American Development Council (EADC)
Ethiopian American Civic Council (EACC)
Ethiopian Public Diplomacy Network (EPDN)
Global Ethiopian Scholars Initiative (GESI)
New York Tristate Hope for Ethiopia (H4E

CC:

  • H.E. António Guterres, United Nations Secretary General, 
  • H.E. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission,
  • H.E. Azali Assoumani, Chairperson of the African Union,
  • H.E. Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State
  • H.E. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada

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