SUBJECT: THE FORMATION AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF NINE ETHNIC-BASED FEDERALIST/CONFEDERALIST ALLIANCE WILL FAIL!
November 28, 2021
The undersigned Ethiopian American civil society organizations condemn and reject the formation and announcement from Washington DC of a federalist/confederalist Alliance consisting of nine (9) ethno-nationalist entities in the Diaspora. There is no doubt in our minds this Alliance to dismantle the Ethiopian state was masterminded by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that initiated an insurgency a year ago.
The undersigned are deeply concerned why the Government of the United States that acknowledges Ethiopia’s strategic importance to the United States would give any semblance of legitimacy to this Alliance.
Ethiopia is currently at war triggered by the TPLF. Despite a unilateral ceasefire declaration by the Government of Ethiopia in June, the TPLF has done the exact opposite. It has expanded the war to the Afar and Amhara regions. It has committed war and other crimes, including rapes of more than one hundred Amhara girls and women as reported by Amnesty International just in recent months.
The TPLF has also vowed to cut the Amhara population into shreds. It has announced its determination to destabilize and fragment Ethiopia by overthrowing and unseating the Ethiopian Government. This Government has the sole mandate and responsibility to restore peace and stability throughout Ethiopia. It has the mandate to defend and preserve Ethiopia’s territorial integrity and the sovereignty.
Contrary to misinformation from Western media, most Ethiopians at home and abroad are unified in defiance of the TPLF and its surrogate, the Oromo Liberation Army, which are designated as terrorist organizations.
The new Alliance whose members are practically unknown in Ethiopia or abroad tried to gain acceptance and legitimacy by designating a former Ambassador of Ethiopia to the United States, Berhane Gebrekirstos as its chief spokesman. An active member of the TPLF, he used his previous privilege and access to US policy and decision-makers to advance the Alliance’s cause to the international community. He described the Alliance as an opposition party to unseat the Government of Ethiopia.
In our assessment, members of the Alliance do not represent their constituencies. They do not advance the cause of peace, stability, and security in Ethiopia. They are determined to undermine Ethiopia’s territorial integrity. We also believe they harm America’s national security interests in the Horn and Eastern Africa.
As Ethiopian Americans who care deeply about the importance of continued US and Ethiopian relations for mutual benefit, we are concerned that the Alliance will divert attention from and potentially derail the current effort for a mediated settlement of the conflict in Ethiopia led by former President Obasanjo of Nigeria.
The undersigned find it inexplicable how the TPLF that had abandoned the city of Mekele resurged from imminent collapse. Its incomprehensible resurgence seems to have been buffeted by the provision of satellite communication equipment, the transmission of intelligence on the ground as well as relentless and coordinated misinformation by Western media and think-tanks that favor the terrorist organization, TPLF.
The undesigned wish to explain the distinctive attributes of confederation and federation.
What is an Alliance based on confederation?
Confederation is a union of sovereign states united for common purposes. It is a form of interaction around sovereign and independent states with an implicit right of secession when a member of the confederation desires to do so. For example, Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea, and Djibouti can form a confederation for commerce or defense.
The undersigned find it regrettable that the Government of the United States, a dependable friend of Ethiopia for more than 118 years, has not dismissed the formation of an Alliance that is based on confederation. In our considered assessment, this Alliance will intensify ethnic polarization, prolong the war and fragment Ethiopia. Further, the formation of a confederation of sovereign states for Ethiopia dismisses entirely the evolution of Ethiopia’s multicultural society that performs as a mosaic of peoples, faiths, cultures, and history spanning thousands of years. This unique amalgam is a blessing and not a threat.
What is a federalist Alliance?
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) is a federal system of government. This contrasts with an imaginary unitary state that the Alliance is trying to reject. We believe that members of this so-called “alliance” know the ethnic federal system imposed on the Ethiopian people by the TPLF was never democratic. The TPLF ruled Ethiopia with an iron fist. It stole billions of dollars and bankrupted the economy. Ethiopia is moving towards a multiparty and not unitary system.
For the record, the nine members of the Alliance must recognize that democratic governments such as the United Kingdom, France, Japan, South Korea, Israel, and others are governed by unitary systems.
The TPLF dominated Ethiopia’s ethnic federal system for three decades. The undersigned find it disingenuous that the TPLF has recruited an Afar opposition party while the TPLF is raping and murdering Afar Ethiopians and destroying their social and economic infrastructure. Is this Afar party planning to tell the heroic people of the Afar region that it supports their just cause for survival and for the survival of Ethiopia to which the Afar people are dying by creating an alliance with the TPLF? It appalls us that the TPLF has recruited a group from Gambella where in a single day in the 1990s the TPLF had massacred hundreds of Annuak civilians. Is the newly fabricated Gambella party on the verge of absolving the TPLF from genocide?
Currently, Somali Ethiopians are among the fiercest critics of the TPLF. The TPLF had caused the deaths of thousands of Somali Ethiopians. TPLF goons raped Somali Ethiopian girls and women. The TPLF expropriated and granted hundreds of thousands of fertile Somali lands to Tigrean nationals. The TPLF recruited, financed, and armed the ex-President of the Somali region Abdi Illey, currently in jail, to carry out these treacherous acts. So, why a new Somali ethnic party that undermines Somali Ethiopian interests?
For over more than 40 years, the TPLF found, recruited, financed, and armed the Kimant and Agew communities in the Amhara region. The sole intent was to create a wedge between the Amhara and these two communities who have more in common with the Amhara than with Tigreans. The second reason is to ensure that the TPLF can reclaim and incorporate Wolkait, Tegede, Telemt, and Raya into Greater Tigray.
The undersigned believe that the TPLF engineered the formation of the new Alliance to achieve two strategic goals:
- To crush the Amhara population by depriving resources it needs to alleviate poverty; and,
- To make Ethiopia ungovernable and to disintegrate Ethiopia; at a minimum to weaken it.
The undersigned believe strongly that the TPLF has succeeded in deceiving the international community with the hidden motive of dismantling Ethiopia into fragmented ethnic-based regions. It is unfortunate that despite this clear motive, the Biden Administration continues to exert undue pressure on Ethiopia to accept America’s will by coercion.
We, the undersigned condemn the formation of this newly minted “federalist/confederalist” Alliance in the strongest terms. Sponsoring or encouraging or emboldening this Alliance is a flagrant interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. If the Biden Administration is unwilling to support the Government of Ethiopia in its fight against terrorism, we demand that it should keep its hands off Ethiopia. It is our considered opinion that that the US will not benefit by supporting the TPLF, the OLA or the newly announced Alliance. We genuinely believe that for Ethiopia to survive and thrive, TPLF must go.
The undersigned urge Ethiopian Americans, Ethiopians, Ethiopia’s friends across the globe as well as the Government of the United States not to give any legitimacy or recognition to the new Alliance.
The undersigned believe that America’s long term security interests in the Horn, Eastern Africa, and in the Red Sea corridor will be served best by working with the Ethiopian people and Government and by defending Ethiopia’s continuity as an intact state.
Finally, we trust that the Government of the United States would appreciate our carefully considered opinion that US Government direct or indirect support for the Alliance or the formation of a transitional government in Ethiopia will cause irreparable damage to US national security interests and erode further the well-established relations between the USA and Ethiopia.
We therefore urge the United States of America to disavow this Alliance.
Ethiopia shall prevail!!!
Consortium of Ethiopian Organizations:
- Ethiopian Dialogue Forum— EDF
- Alliance of Concerned Ethiopians in the diaspora (ACED)
- Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians
- The consortium of Ethiopian Civic Organizations-TIBIBIR
- Voice of the Victim’s Organization
- Ethio-American Self-help Association
- The Ethiopian Border Affairs Committee
- Gondar Hibret for Ethiopian Unity
- Global Amhara Coalition
- Wollo Meredaja Maheber
- Moresh Wogene Amhara Organization
- Amhara Region Support Committee
- All Shewa Ethiopian People Multipurpose International Association
- United Ethiopians Association in Maryland
- Shewa Reconstruction Group
The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., President of the United States
The Honorable Kamala D. Harris, Vice President of the United States
The Honorable Antony Blinken, Secretary of the US State Department
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker of the US Congress, United States
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives
The Honorable Chuck Schumer, Majority Leader of the US Senate, United States
The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader of the Senate, United States
The Honorable Bob Menendez, Chair of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee
The Honorable Jim Risch, Ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
The Honorable Mark Warner, Chair of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
The Honorable Marco Rubio, Vice Chair of the United US Select Committee on Intelligence
The Honorable Michael McCaul, Ranking member of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee
The Honorable Karen Bass, Chair of the United US of Representatives Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights Subcommittee
The Honorable Chris Smith, Ranking member of the US House of Representatives Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights Subcommittee
The Honorable Geeta Pasi, United States Ambassador to Ethiopia
The Honorable Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE)
The Honorable Sahlework Zewde, President of FDRE
The Honorable Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of FDRE
The Honorable Tagesse Chafo, Speaker of the House of Peoples’ Representatives
The Honorable Agegnehu Teshager, Speaker of the House of Federation
The Honorable Dr.Yilkal Kefale, President of the Amhara Regional Government
The Honorable Awol Arba, President of the Afar Regional Government
H.E. Ambassador Taye Atske-Selassie, Permanent representative of the Federal. Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the United Nations.
H.E. Fitsum Arega, Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States
H.E. President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi, Chairperson of the African Union
H.E. Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen, President of the European Commission