Open Letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken Regarding the Recent Statement on Ethiopia
For immediate release
May 4, 2023
The Honorable Antony Blinken Secretary
U.S. Department of State
2201 C St. NW
Dear Secretary Blinken,
We, the undersigned organizations of Ethiopians in the Diaspora, write to express our consternation on your recent statement relating to the six-month anniversary of the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA) between the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in Pretoria.
While we applaud in principle the US engagement in bringing much-needed peace to the people of the region, we are appalled by your statement, which in our view is partisan and inconsistent with the dangerous situation on the ground, and likely to encourage further bloodshed and war atrocities against the Amhara people.
If history is any reference, this recent statement is reminiscent of previous missed opportunities by policymakers in the US and other Western nations and institutions concerning the predicaments of that country in particular and the Horn of Africa in general.
In the early 1970’s, negligent policymakers in the US pushed Ethiopia into the fold of the Eastern Bloc, and precipitated decades of civil war and a brutal military dictatorship.
In 1991, the US brokered a peace talk in London under the stewardship of Herman Cohen and handed power to the TPLF, which viciously ruled the country for the subsequent three decades. Since then, Cohen has regretted the disastrous consequence of that policy on numerous occasions.
Recently, the US played an active role in the exclusionary and ill-fated Pretoria deal, whose unmistakable intent and outcome was the resuscitation of the TPLF, which had instigated a war that cost over a million lives and incalculable property damage, and resulted in immeasurable human suffering in the Amhara and Afar regions.
Your inopportune statement, which subliminally is reflective of TPLF’s claim of Amhara ancestral lands, is especially alarming in its omission of the ongoing war declared against the Amhara people by the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. As the intelligence community of your own government can validate, the federal government of Ethiopia has continued in the Amhara region at large, under the guise of the implementation of the COHA, the genocidal crimes that have been going on in the Oromia region.
We, therefore, request that you recant your statement and:
- Demand the immediate cessation of aggression by the GoE against the Amhara people;
- Coordinate with other Western democracies and international institutions to launch a credibleinvestigation into the crimes committed against the Amhara and other ethnic groups by the GoEand the TPLF; and
- Embrace an unbiased and all-inclusive policy that averts bloodshed, humanitarian catastropheand destabilization in the region; champions the establishment of a truly democratic system of government in the country; and reliably serves the long-term interest of the United States in the Horn of Africa.
- Abba Bahrey Forum
- Adwa Great African Victory Association (AGAVA)
- All Shewa Ethiopian People Multipurpose International Association
- Amhara Association of Chicago
- Amhara Association of Seattle
- Amhara Dimtse Serechit
- Amhara Heritage Society of Minnesota
- Amhara Wellbeing and Development Association
- Bay Area Save Life
- Bay Area Ethiopian Community Association
- Communities of Ethiopians in Finland
- Concerned Amharas in the Diaspora
- Congress of Ethiopian Civic Organizations (CECO)
- Ethiopian American Development Council (EADC)
- Ethiopian Community Association of Greater Cincinnati (ECAGC)
- Ethiopiawinnet – Council for the Defence of Citizen Rights (E-CDCR)
- Freedom and Justice for Telemt Amhara
- Galilee Lutheran Church of Chester
- Genocide Prevention in Ethiopia (GPE)
- Global Alliance for Justice – The Ethiopian Cause
- Global Amhara Coalition (GAC)
- Global Ethiopian Scholars Initiative (GESI)
- Gonder Hibret for Ethiopian Unity
- Hope for Ethiopia (H4E)
- Major Lemma Woldetsadik Memorial Foundation
- Network of Ethiopian Scholars (NES)
- Radio Yenesew Ethiopia
- Selassie Stand Up, Inc.
- Vision Ethiopia (VE)
- Worldwide Ethiopian Civic Associations Network (WE-CAN)