His Excellency Joseph Biden
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
02 December 2021
Subject: Urgent appeal to US president Biden: from the US based COVID 19 Advisory Council for Ethiopia
Dear President Biden,
We the undersigned African Americans of Ethiopian origin serve as members of the COVID-19 Advisory Council for Ethiopia, which was established to provide technical and scientific support in the prevention and control of the SARS-Cov-2 virus in Ethiopia. We serve as health professionals in major US academic institutions and health care organizations in the fields of virology, public health, epidemiology, and clinical medicine. As the voice of the diaspora in the academic and health community, we are deeply disturbed about your administration’s hostility toward Ethiopia’s government and its people. In this letter we show that American interest is best served by supporting the democratically elected government of Ethiopia and rejecting the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) as a treasonous terrorist organization.
Judging by the many worldwide public protests against US policy towards Ethiopia, it is apparent that the overwhelming majority of Ethiopians believe that your administration’s policy toward Ethiopia is counterproductive in the pursuit of peace, charging your administration with emboldening TPLF to continue its reckless acts of violence against innocent civilians. In the most recent US election, for example, Ethiopian Americans expressed their anger by overwhelmingly voting for Republicans across the US in protest of your administration’s inherent bias toward the TPLF, a designated terrorist organization. The TPLF has been engaged in a bloody war against the rest of Ethiopia, vowing to dismember and dismantle the Ethiopian state of 110 million people and threatening to destabilize the entire Horn of Africa.
Mr. President, as American citizens and voters we advise that the US government stand for democracy and support the democratically duly elected government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a government which won the historic 2021 election by a landslide in which 80% of the electorate participated. We also advise that the US stay away from contemplation of any military adventurism including conventional or hybrid warfare in Ethiopia. Any such involvement will likely lead to disastrous consequences for all concerned (remember Somalia) as it will be rejected by the American public as well as almost all Ethiopians, and other African nations.
Ethiopians would like to believe Secretary Blinken’s recent statement of US “commitment to supporting Ethiopians in taking concrete steps towards peace to preserve the unity and sovereignty of the state”. Similar statements have been made by Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, your Special Envoy for Horn of Africa. However, since actions speak louder than words, we await US actions in support of those words. The irony of Mr. Blinken talking about US commitment to preserving the unity and sovereignty of Ethiopia while actions on the ground unequivocally show US tacit support and alliance with terrorist TPLF who has vowed to dismantle Ethiopia if it cannot get back to power, will not be lost on the people of Ethiopia and African leaders.
On the 4th of November 2020, the day after you were elected as the president of the US, the TPLF attempted a violent overthrow of a duly elected government of Ethiopia. It attacked and attempted to annihilate the largest national army base in Ethiopia (the Northern Command) and killed thousands of fellow soldiers in their sleep and in cold blood. A TPLF leader explained in meticulous detail how the TPLF committed those atrocities using terms like “thunderbolt” (“mebreqawi”) attack on the Federal Northern Command. The Ethiopian Government responded by mobilizing troops to reestablish law and order in Tigray.
Mr. President, on the night of 9 November 2020, TPLF massacred some 1,600 innocent citizens in Mai-Kadra town in Ethiopia. Amnesty International released a report “confirming that scores, and likely hundreds, of people were stabbed or hacked to death”. Amnesty concluded that, “Forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) were responsible for the mass killings, apparently after they suffered defeat from the federal Ethiopian Defense Forces.”
The TPLF committed many other acts of carnage, slaughtering innocent farmers and villagers in Afar, Galicoma, Chena, and Kombolcha, committing unspeakable forms of sexual violence, killing thousands of elderly people and children including those in refugee camps, killing livestock en masse, and setting on fire crops with the intent to starve farmers and villagers. This resulted in the displacement of over 2 million people in the Amhara and Afar regions. They continue to forcibly enlist Tigray children as fighters causing their destruction in the tens of thousands. The people of Tigray are held as hostages and under siege by the TPLF terrorist group and need to be freed from their clutches.
Mr. President, to our dismay your administration has continued its backing of treasonous TPLF despite documented evidence of TPLF’s horrifying human rights violations and their intent to dismantle the Ethiopian state. Therefore, we call upon the US government and your administration to stand for democracy, support the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and stop emboldening TPLF’s reckless campaign of violence. We also call upon your administration to play a constructive role in the cause of peace in the Horn of Africa and reject any enticements of military intervention in Ethiopia.
Ethiopian Diaspora High Level
Advisory Council on COVID-19
United States of America