EBAC Press Release
The Ethiopian Border Affairs Committee (EBAC) has a well-established record in defending the country’s borders and the social, cultural, political, security and economic interests of the Ethiopian people as whole.
EBAC is therefore aghast by the incident in Gambella and by the wanton destruction of villages, homes, families and properties by a “highly organized and armed” group from South Sudan. More important, we are outraged by the killings of more than 200 Ethiopians, the abduction of more than 100 children and 2,000 heads of cattle in broad day light by those same people to whom, the Ethiopian people have wholeheartedly welcomed, provided sanctuary and harbored thousands of refugees from South Sudan.
EBAC has repeatedly warned that Ethiopia’s borders with North Sudan have been violated numerous times, often with the knowledge and tacit approval of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that is determined to transfer large tracts of Ethiopian lands to the Sudanese government of President Bashir. We had warned repeatedly that this unprecedented treachery by the ruling party compromises Ethiopia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and the long-term socio-economic and security interests of millions of Ethiopians. In this regard, we are thankful to the numerous religious, political, civic and media organizations that have stood with us and signed petitions rejecting illegal transfers of lands to the Bashir government by the TPLF.
EBAC joins 101 million Ethiopians at home and abroad in expressing utter dismay and disbelief, sorrow and anger at the wanton and brazen violation of our ancestral land’s sovereignty and borders; and the massacre of innocent people and the abduction of children in Gambella. This is the first time in the annals of Ethiopia’s modern history that any group would do the unthinkable of attacking 200 villages simultaneously, kidnaping children and snatching huge amounts of livestock from Ethiopia. We find it hard to believe that any group would violate the country’s sovereignty, cross its borders in day light, go from village to village, kill 208 Ethiopians including children, “kidnap 104” innocent children and take 2,000 heads of cattle from Gambella to South Sudan. The TPLF that dominates the state and government nominally run by the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) prides itself in establishing an intelligence, security and defense network that is second to none. We should like to ask what happened to this formidable defense force at a time of Ethiopia’s greatest need.
The TPLF-dominated regime’s proclivity to give special and coveted status and economic and financial privileges to the top Tigrean brass who manage intelligence, security and defense forces is understandable. The ethnic state and government can’t last without the loyalty and support of this establishment. Ethiopia has more generals today than ever. But, it is not fighting a foreign enemy. These top cadres are among the wealthiest in a country where 17-20 million people starve and where annual per capita income is a third of the Sub-Saharan African average. Where are these well-endowed generals when a “well organized and armed group” massacres innocent civilians and kidnaps more than 100 children?
EBAC is deeply concerned that Ethiopia endears itself by availing fighters to UN peacekeeping operations in South Sudan to restore peace; and to the United States to fight Al- Shabab and other terrorist groups in the Horn. It is the largest African troop contributor to the UN. The critical question is who within the Ethiopian intelligence, security and defense is accountable and responsible for Ethiopia’s vulnerability from foreign attack and for the massacre of innocent citizens and the abduction of more than 100 children?
Ethiopia’s vulnerability from different directions is real. However, its intelligence, security and defense forces are much more competent of quelling civil unrest in northern Gondar, Oromia, Gambella than in anticipating external threats and in thwarting them before they do the greatest damage within the shortest time possible. Nevertheless, TPLF is unable to secure the release of those innocent Children and unite them with their beloved families. In light of this, EBAC urges the TPLF-dominated government to secure the safe return of the Children.
EBAC calls on all Ethiopians across the globe to unify their forces and demand the TPLF-dominated government of Ethiopia accountability for the tragedy in Gambella. It also calls on Ethiopia’s defense forces to uphold the country’s noble tradition of preserving Ethiopian territories that the TPLF plans to transfer to the Sudanese government of president Bashir.
When the day comes, the Ethiopian people will bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.
Long Live Ethiopia!
Ethiopian Border Affairs Committee
P. O. Box 9536
Columbus, Ohio 43209
EBAC Press Release