TPLF Terrorism- Threat to Regional Peace and Stability

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Ever since the Ethiopian government and the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) signed the Peace Accord in Pretoria[1], there have been many reports produced that question its legality, its international acceptance, its success etc. Despite the facts being readily available, there was a deliberate and concerted efforts to misrepresent the facts about the origins of the conflict in Northern Ethiopia, how it evolved and what led to TPLF coming to the table and signing the Pretoria Agreement.

By omitting or neglecting to mention critical facts, they in effect distort the cause, process and result of the war. Presenting the culprits as the victims and the victims as the aggressors, distorts TPLF’s bestiality and malevolence. Overlooking TPLF’s documented history of destabilizing role in the Horn region, and in Ethiopia in particular, is conveniently ignored. TPLF’s assault on the Northern Command Forces in November 2020 and its lawless activities and with it the reason why the Ethiopian government was compelled to launch the “law enforcement operation” in Tigray.

It should be recalled that on 2 November 2022, the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) and TPLF signed the Agreement for lasting peace and Cessation of Hostilities (CoHA) in Pretoria, followed by the signing of an implementation deal ten days later in Nairobi, Kenya. Today, there are signs that Tigray’s leaders are already wavering on the Pretoria accord’s critical tenets. Further, in a 13 November 2022 statement, issued the day after the Nairobi agreement, Tigray’s leaders publicly backtracked on parts of the Pretoria deal, including by explicitly rejecting its effective removal of the existing regional government from power. Tigray’s embattled leaders had assented to disarm their forces and restore federal authority in the region.

It is unclear if they are posturing to deflect internal criticism of their initial concessions in Pretoria, which angered their constituents, especially those in the Diaspora, or to pressure the government to make concessions. Judging from its previous time buying gimmicks, it may just be using the reprieve to prepare for another war. There are telltale signs that show TPLF is attempting to renege on a key part of the accord, namely that Tigray’s authorities would step aside for an interim administration negotiated between the TPLF and the federal government. The TPLF is known for not abiding by agreements it signs. Absent any punitive actions against it will continue with its belligerence and provocations, especially toward Eritrea.

TPLF started the war in November 2020, two years later, its callousness to the suffering resulting from its barbarism remains. It seems to be determined to kill some more; to rape and beat its Ethiopian brethren; to destroy property, burn farmlands, slaughter livestock, and send fear and terror through communities, deepening the pain of the nation, in its frenzied quest for power. Graham Peebles, writing for the Monthly review on 7 September 2022 wrote[2]:

“…latest offensive was launched on 24 August, violating the humanitarian truce agreed with the Ethiopian government, and shattering the temporary peace…The TPLF used the months of peace, not to enter unto constructive dialogue with the government, to address the needs of people in Tigray impacted by the war and beg for forgiveness, but to actively re-arm and rebuild its forces. The Crisis Group relate that they have “solid evidence” of at least 10 Antonov planes making deliveries (of arms it is assumed) …TPLF forces raided a World Food Program (WFP) warehouse in Mekelle (capital of Tigray region). “12 full fuel tankers with 570,000 litres of fuel”…Stealing from the UN to enable war is nothing new for the TPLF…”

Tigray’s negotiators went to South Africa desperate for a pause in the fighting, and reaching that goal came at a high price. According to the Crisis Group:

“…the TPLF committed to laying down arms within 30 days and allowing federal forces to re-enter Mekelle in order to restore constitutional order and take control of federal institutions. The deal also stipulates that, once Ethiopia’s parliament has lifted its May 2021 designation of the TPLF as a terrorist organisation, the TPLF and the federal government are to appoint an “inclusive” interim administration to govern Tigray until elections…”

TPLF’s behaviors that forced the Government to list it as a terrorist have not changed. Frantic attempts to sanitize TPLF’s image continues as its surrogates continue to wreak havoc in many parts of Ethiopia. A simple removal from a list is not going to sanitize TPLF’s woeful history of terrorism in the region. TPLF is listed as a terrorist group as far back as 1976 on the Global Terrorism Database (GTD). The United States government lifted the TPLF’s designation as a Tier III terrorist group upon the group’s ascension to power as a political party in 1991, but that did not stop it from terrorizing the Ethiopian people, and neighboring states, for 27 long years.

The TPLF and its aligned actors (western media and NGO groups) have used systematic information manipulation and disinformation in order to advance illicit agendas in the region. Unfortunately, there are some who still believe African solutions for African problems need the blessing of the west in order for them to be successful. The fact that the US Special Envoy participated in every facet of the Pretoria Agreement belie sentiments the claim there was no western support for it. Regardless of the presence of others, as guarantors or witnesses, the failure or success of any Agreement depends on the commitment of the parties to the Agreement.

TPLF’s History in the Horn

The last two years has seen disinformation narratives progressing rapidly, with extensive TPLF propaganda and social media activism, including crude historical revisionism. Disinformation and mal information were TPLF’s weapon of choice and Eritrea, remains the scapegoat for its numerous failures and miscalculations. Social media gave TPLF an artificial sense of support, and its efforts to manipulate public opinion on social media took place on Twitter and Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. TPLF apologists and supporters used every available platform to spread its narratives, including the comments sections of major western media outlets to spread the deliberate distortions and mal-information.

TPLF’s extensive campaigns resulted in confusion, not just within its constituents in Tigray, but also with policy makers in Europe, United States, African Union and the United Nations. This not only prolonged the war and its devastating effects on the lives and livelihoods of Ethiopians, it undermined the credibility, integrity of international institutions, questioning their efficacy. TPLF relies on a mix of fake and artificial accounts, anonymous websites and official media sources, to distribute and amplify content that advanced its myopic narratives about Ethiopia, Eritrea and the region. TPLF sought to undermine competing Ethiopian government narratives on the conflict in Northern Ethiopia. Graham Peebles wrote:

“…The TPLF have been a malignant force in Ethiopia for decades. They dominated the previous EPRDF government (a coalition in name only) for 27 years (1991-2018), stealing election after election. Ruling through fear, enflaming division, agitating ethnic disagreements, violently crushing human rights and committing state terrorism in various parts of Ethiopia. Throughout their time in office and since their overthrow Western powers, to the bewilderment of many, have consistently supported them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given their addiction to regional meddling, the main sponsor of TPLF terror is the U.S. government. Successive administrations, together with the UK, and to a lesser degree the European Union, have backed the TPLF, empowering them financially, politically, and throughout their war on the Ethiopian State, it is widely believed, militarily…”

The attempts to revise history and misrepresent developments in the region continue and it is time to set the record straight. In the flurry of analysis and reports churned out by various interest groups, some vital facts have been wittingly or unwittingly omitted. A brief background is needed to better understand the developments of late and bring context into the ongoing discussions. In order to accurately gauge the future of the Horn region, we need to look at domestic and international issues that have impacted the region in the last few decades.

The Horn of Africa includes the countries of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. It is a region of incredible diversity with varied and yet intertwined histories. For this discussion, the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) and its over two decades long agenda for Eritrea and Ethiopia, will be the main focus. TPLF dominated the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPDRF), an ethnic federalist political coalition government that ruled Ethiopia with brute force until 2018, when it was dislodged from power by popular uprisings, mainly by the Amhara and Oromo, the two largest ethnic groups. The anger and frustration were driven by the marginalization the two groups experienced for more than two decades, at the hands of TPLF.

Before its downfall, TPLF had disproportionate representation and influence throughout the country and it dominated important government institutions such as foreign affairs, defense, security and finance. In doing so, it monopolized political power, the country’s economy and resources as well as the military and security sectors for its narrow ethnic centered agenda. Ethiopians watched helplessly as the TPLF junta in Ethiopia committed genocides in the Gambela, Ogaden and Oromia regions of Ethiopia. They watched helplessly as their fellow Ethiopians starved as Ethiopia’s fertile lands were “rented out” to feed populations in other countries, and as the regime begged for food aid on one hand while buying weapons with the other.

Ethiopians watched helplessly as young Ethiopian men are used as cannon fodder and minesweepers in the regime’s destructive and deadly wars of aggression and invasion of neighboring states, Eritrea and Somalia, and beyond. Ethiopians watched helplessly as US lawmakers send billions of dollars of US tax monies to the regime through various schemes, and watched as the regime diverted aid to buy deadly arsenal to be used against its own people, to suppress their voices and cower them into submission. Meles Zenawi might very well have been the darling of the West, but he was the cancer that is bleeding Ethiopia and the Horn. So, to now see TPLF stealing UN and US aid for its war of insurrection comes as a surprise for those who know its shameful history and record.

Africa was not a priority for the United States (US) for many decades. When the Cold War ended, it adopted the “anchor states” model for Africa, working primarily via a handful of regional actors to leverage influence. In the Horn region, TPLF led Ethiopia was US’ anchor state. In addition, US placed Ethiopia at the forefront of its “Counterterrorism strategy in Africa”. This gave TPLF latitude (in terms of accountability and resources) to commit widespread human rights abuses in Ethiopia, and to invade neighboring countries, such as the brutal invasion and occupation of Somalia in 2006, causing untold deaths and destruction of livelihoods, creating the greatest humanitarian emergency in Somali history. All this while it claimed to be fighting extremism in the region.

Eritrea’s position on Somalia was undermined, and the US labeled it a “spoiler in the region”[3], and with the help of the TPLF regime engineered UN sanctions against the State of Eritrea. It falsely accused Eritrea of supplying arms to Al Shabbab. More than the trumped-up charges, it was the manner with which Susan Rice, then US Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), employed the regional African organizations, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU), to make it look like it was an “African Initiative”, that was the most shameful.

TPLF’s mercenary role came as no surprise. By the way, when the IGAD and African Union adopted sanctions resolutions against Eritrea, the TPLF regime was chairing them. Within days of Susan E. Rice’s visit to Ethiopia and her meeting with Ethiopian officials including Meles Zenawi, an emergency meeting of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) was convened. The 21 May 2009 Communiqué released after the meeting said:

“…The 33rd Extra-ordinary Meeting (Extra-ordinary No. 1) of the IGAD Council of Ministers was convened at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 20th May 2009 to discuss the developments in Somalia…The Council was chaired by H.E. Seyoum Mesfin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the current Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers…”

In a statement released after the end of its 190th meeting in the Ethiopian capital the AUPSC urged the UNSC to impose sanctions on “all those foreign actors, both within and outside the region, especially Eritrea, which are providing support to the armed groups engaged in destabilizing activities in Somalia.”[4]

In violation of the African Union’s own rules which clearly state that:

“…. Any Member of the Peace and Security Council which is party to a conflict or a situation under consideration by the Peace and Security Council shall not participate either in the discussion or in the decision making process relating to that conflict or situation. Such Member shall be invited to present its case to the Peace and Security Council as appropriate, and shall, thereafter, withdraw from the proceedings…”

Eritrea, the accused, was not present at that meeting and Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda, (the accusers, judge and jury) who are parties to the conflict in Somalia participated in the meetings and pushed the resolutions against Eritrea, the one nation that has no bone in this ugly fight. These illegal meetings and decisions were orchestrated by TPLF regime in Ethiopia, which served as the Chair of the Peace and Security Council at the time. The ill-gotten, illegal, unfair and unjust sanctions against Eritrea were lifted when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power. No evidence against Eritrea has ever been presented to date[5].

On 19 November 2009 Deputy Assistant Secretary Karl Wycoff visited Ethiopia and met with Meles Zenawi, presumably to assure him that they were all doing their part to secure the sanctions against Eritrea. Here is an excerpt from what the WikiLeaks cable recorded of that meeting:

“…Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles told visiting AF/DAS Wycoff and CDA on November 19 that he wanted to give the USG a “heads up” that Ethiopia was considering actively supporting armed Eritrean opposition groups if the international community fails to take action to isolate Asmara.…Wycoff agreed that Eritrea has shown no signs of changing its behavior but suggested that the broadening discussion of sanctions, including Ambassador Rice’s personal involvement at USUN, has caught the attention of Eritrean President Isaias. Wycoff added that the USG has worked to undercut support for Eritrea, including his own visits to Gulf countries to enlist their support in such activities…”

Wycoff, like all the other officials at the incompetent Bureau of African Affairs, participated in the orchestrated campaign to “isolate” Eritrea. From demarches to orders to “dis-invite” Eritrea from regional meetings, to preventing Eritrea’s voice from being heard at international forums, the Wikileaks cables expose the ugly and shameful actions of US officials and their attempts to cripple Eritrea diplomatically, financially, politically and militarily, while propping up the lawless TPLF regime in Ethiopia.

US shield and support emboldened TPLF to forcefully occupy sovereign Eritrean territories and reject the final and binding decision of the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC). The EEBC was established pursuant to the Algiers Agreements signed between Eritrea and Ethiopia in 2000, following the 1998-2000 war. TPLF continued its threats of “regime change” in Eritrea (stated it in its 2012 released white paper) and conspired to isolate Eritrea from regional and international forums.

The ill-gotten mandate at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2012 was a continuation of the assault on Eritrea under the cover of “Human Rights” by TPLF and its western backers. It was an effort to disarm the country, delegitimize its institution of National Defense, demoralize its armed forces and depopulate the nation of its fighting age citizens. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)[6], TPLF and western agencies funded individuals and groups who populated the annual Special Rapporteur’s reports on Eritrea, with unsubstantiated allegations. The NED alone spent over $600,000 funding anti-Eritrea groups in the Diaspora, who were also given platform and forum in various European and US think tanks, media, and at the UNHRC.

In April 2009, the UNHCR issued the “UNHCR Eligibility Guidelines for Assessing the International Protection Needs for Asylum-Seekers from Eritrea”. The hostilities continued with the TPLF and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) setting up camps in Tigray, close to the Eritrean border, and TPLF engaged actively in the coordinated human smuggling and human trafficking of Eritrea’s youth. TPLF took advantage of the circumstances to send Tigrayans to western states, posing as Eritreans. In the meantime, Eritrean refugees in Tigray continue to suffer from untold crimes, including killings.

In spite of all these threats and injustices, Eritrea has upheld international law and accepted the final and binding decisions of the EBBC and waited for 16 painful years for TPLF to withdraw its forces from sovereign Eritrean territories. Despite Eritrea’s acceptance of the arbitration decisions, its respect for international law and search for justice through bilateral and multilateral channels, which came at a huge price, Eritrea was portrayed as a pariah. Emboldened by the support and shield it received, TPLF continued to undermine Eritrea’s nation building efforts, endanger both the future of the nation, drain its meager resources and threaten its national security. TPLF became an existential threat to Eritrea and its people.

Ironically, neither the guarantors of the Algiers Agreements[7], namely the US, UN, OAU (current AU), EU and Algeria, nor other individual African states concerned with peace and stability of the region, ever pressed TPLF to respect international law, accept and implement the boundary decisions and withdraw its forces from sovereign Eritrean territories. They all failed to compel the TPLF to abide by its treaty obligations. They instead provided TPLF with diplomatic, financial, political, and military cover and shield that enabled it to rule as a ‘gangster’ both inside and outside Ethiopia.

Most importantly, in 2007, despite TPLF’s intransigence and the guarantors’ reluctance to take punitive actions against the TPLF for its belligerent behaviors, the EEBC virtually (using coordinates on maps) demarcated the Eritrea Ethiopia border and both parties have received their copies of the maps deposited with the UN. TPLF’s refusal and the silence of the guarantors of the Algiers Peace Agreements prevented the EEBC from fulfilling its mandate of demarcating the border by placing pillars on the ground[8].

As a young nation Eritrea has never had any territorial or other hegemonic ambitions against its neighbors.  In all the cases of border dispute with its neighbors (Yemen/Ethiopia), Eritrea has not tried to review and alter the inherited colonial boundaries. Eritrea’s principled position has been, and remains, respect of the inherited colonial boundaries and their peaceful settlement through arbitration in the event of any dispute. For example:

Eritrea has dutifully abided by the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s decision on the Hannish Islands in its dispute with Yemen (1994). Similarly, it accepted the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission’s final and binding delimitation and demarcation decisions when the border dispute with Ethiopia was referred to this Arbitral body, in accordance with the provisions of the Algiers Agreement signed in Algeria in December 2000.

TPLF’s 27-year brutal reign in Ethiopia ended in 2018. The people of Ethiopia endured two years of ruling with brutal emergency command posts, hundreds of thousands were imprisoned, millions displaced from their homes and villages by ethnic conflicts it instigated. The long simmering popular protests erupted across Ethiopia, initially sparked in Oromia and then spread to other regions, sweeping TPLF out of power and ushering the ascendance of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2018.

Garnering popular support and coming to power in the middle of the worst political and social crisis that Ethiopia has seen in decades, and aided by the fact that he was an ‘insider’ in the country’s political games, Prime Minister Abiy was quick to identify and reform numerous faulty policies TPLF used to crash opposition, monopolize power to handsomely benefit of its own clique. As a result, political prisoners were released, political and economic space was relaxed, media outlets and opposition flourished, draconian laws were reversed. Ethiopia made peace with Eritrea by accepting the EEBC decisions without preconditions.

All these developments did not bode well for TPLF, who was watching the reforms skeptically thus far. TPLF tried to sabotage the reforms using a variety of means, until it became clear that it did not wish to join the transition, if it were not in the driving seat. Advocating for ‘Tigrayan exceptionalism’, TPLF left Addis Ababa for Mekelle and went on to plan for the 2020-2022 devastating conflict in Northern Ethiopia. Despite these indisputable facts, the narratives on the conflict have been deliberately crafted to confuse and misinform.

Despite there being only one defense force in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian National Defense Force, in a futile attempt to equate the legitimate government to Ethiopia with TPLF, a registered terrorist group, its forces were labelled the “Tigray Defense Forces” in almost all of its propaganda. According to the Ethiopian Constitution, Tigray as one of the regions within the Ethiopian Federation can have its own local special forces and militias, but not a defense force. Moreover, as we have seen in the recent Pretoria and Nairobi peace agreements between TPLF and the Ethiopian government, there is no mention of TDF, rather, the agreements refer to “Tigrayan armed combatants”.

The Ethiopian Government, in the interest of the nation called for peace on several occasions. Suffice it to mention the many peace initiatives it undertook at the societal and government levels before the start of the conflict. It also called for peace when it withdrew unilaterally from Tigray and announced a unilateral ceasefire on 28 June 2021. TPLF scoffed at the FDRE’s unilateral ceasefire as a “joke”, and continued its military adventures into the Afar and Amhara regions until its pre-conditions were met. Once again, on November 2021, when the TPLF forces were deep inside Amhara region, the TPLF refused to sit and talk with the government, insisting that the war is over and proceeded with its attempt to form a transitional government with OLF-Shene and other outlawed groups.

On December 2021, the FGE, to give peace a chance, decided not to pursue the retreating Tigrayan forces to Tigray region after its forces routed them back from most of Amhara and Afar regions. However, the TPLF continued the war on the borders of Tigray with the Amhara and Afar regions for approximately 4 months, until the FGE declared another unilateral ceasefire on 24 March 2022. By June 2022, the FGE had established the seven-member peace committee and with that, it reaffirmed its readiness to pursue peace negotiations with the TPLF. But this initiative like the ones before, the latest call fell on deaf ears until September, when the third round of the war was well underway.

Some Tigrayans accuse the FDRE of ignoring their 11 September 2022 call for ceasefire. It was disingenuous and was made only when TPLF realized that its war efforts were going nowhere, contrary to its expectations. TPLF realized it was losing the war and chose to not to acknowledge the establishment of the peace committee as early as 24 June 2022. It should be recalled that the TPLF rejected the FGE’s call for ceasefire and responded with its own untenable preconditions. The Ethiopian government, when it was in control of Mekelle, had allowed journalists, diplomats and humanitarian agencies to visit and report from Tigray, but instead of maintaining their professionalism and neutrality, chose to side with the TPLF, and ended up producing a series of damaging and biased reports.

Some TPLF apologists and self-professed regional “experts” have attempted to obfuscate the tenets of the Pretoria Agreement, with some even insinuating that it means a nullification of the Asmara Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship between Eritrea and Ethiopia signed in 2018. They are two separate agreements signed with two different entities, and are different in nature and substance.

TPLF’s supporters have also attempted to divert attention away from the colossal losses, now estimated to be over six hundred thousand (600,000) by feigning concern for losses incurred by ENDF, TDF, Amhara etc. How is it that those who have been calling for “unfettered access” and complaining they did not have access, now want to give detailed accounts of the battlefield? Some Tigrayan elite blame the Asmara agreements, meant to coordinate cultural, economic and security ties with Ethiopia, as being the reason for the current conflict in Northern Ethiopia.

Eritrea advised TPLF on many occasions in the last four years to refrain from dangerous adventures/miscalculations and not dwell on the Tigrayan exceptionalism. But TPLF went ahead with both and the result is now evident to all. The realities on the ground speak volumes. Some analysts forgetting the devastating two-year war with Eritrea, and the costs entailed, seem to believe the TPLF forces to be a “source of leverage” against Eritrea. Such dangerous prepositions continue to threaten Eritrea’s national security and survival.

Despite the diplomatic and political shield and support provided, TPLF sympathizers insinuate that, they only received “modest assistance by a technical expert from the US”. They want to forget the detrimental effects of the support given to TPLF by the US and its western allies in food and other “humanitarian support”. To be clear, it is US’ support that emboldened the TPLF to undertake the ill-advised military adventure towards Addis Ababa in its quest to form the transitional government in November 2021.

The Federal Government of Ethiopia (FGE) had previously allowed unfettered humanitarian aid to reach Tigray, but the TPLF chose to use that aid to feed, not those who were suffering the most from the war, but to prepare for war. It also used aid as an instrument of conscription, by instituting the “one family one child” policy. It was used to prevent families who had not submitted their sons and daughters for its war effort, from accessing aid.

TPLF continued to hoodwink the people of Tigray, denying its losses on the battlefield and misrepresented its forced concessions in Pretoria. TPLF had lost control of important towns such as Shire, Axum and Adwa in the west, and the road connecting Adi-Arqay to Shire in the southwest, Adigrat and its suburbs in the north and Alamata and its surrounding in the south. If it was not for the intervention of the peace process, the fall of Mekelle was inevitable, was a matter of weeks. TPLF knew well its precarious situation, forcing it to accept the cessation of hostilities agreement.

Journalists in the region reported that approximately nine (9) cargo airplanes entered Mekelle[9] from the direction of Sudan, although it is not known what they were carrying, or their origin. TPLF also continued with its rhetoric and military threats towards Eritrea.

TPLF, through its hostile acts has proved time and again to be the enemy of Eritrea and Eritreanism. No to repeat the economic, political and security factors mentioned earlier, one important factor that merits further explanation is TPLF’s dualist approach to the question of Tigray and it’s on again, off again, aspiration of establishing the Republic of Tigray that demographically and geographically incorporates parts of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Unfortunately, there are some who, instead of considering Eritrea’s legitimate political and security concerns vis a vis TPLFs continued provocations, choose instead to deflect the issue by trying to put the blame for all woes in Tigray, on the President of Eritrea.

The UN Committee of Human Rights Experts concluded that not only ENDF, but also all parties to the conflict, including TPLF and its affiliates committed widespread and systemic abuses. In fact, media outlets and human rights organizations reported that it was TPLF and its affiliates that started the mass killings as in Maikadra as early as 7 November 2020, that later led to a tit for tat killings from all sides.

Unfortunately, there have been several self-professed African analysts who have written several exhaustive reports on the Tigray conflict, its origins and how it metastasized before being brought to an end. But they were all short on facts, were one sided, and in fact, mostly regurgitated TPLF’s propaganda. In so doing they dismissed critical realities and security concerns that the Governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia faced, and necessarily dictated the course of the war.

Conclusions

TPLF remains a threat to Ethiopia in particular and the Horn region in general. It has to be disarmed and its forces disbanded and rehabilitated. Herman Cohen[10] recently stated:

“…The only way there will be true peace in Ethiopia is when the TPLF totally disappears as a political entity…”

As a country that has borne the brunt of TPLF’s excesses and terrorist attacks in the last 20 years, it understands the threat posed. It is incumbent on the Ethiopian government to reign in the TPLF and restore peace, stability and security within its own borders, and prevent TPLF’s cross border attacks on Eritrea. Eritrea is well within her rights under the UN Charter to defend her people against TPLF’s terrorism.

Eritrea will work to realize a secure, stable and prosperous Horn, while also strengthening and diversifying partnerships across the globe. Eritrea will meet the challenges of an uncertain future with confidence, open to the world and its opportunities, while resolutely resisting threats to Eritrea’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence.

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[1] https://igad.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Download-the-signed-agreement-here.pdf Accessed 31 December 2022

[2] https://mronline.org/2022/09/07/renewed-tplf-terror-war-against-the-ethiopian-people/ Accessed 31 December 2022

[3] https://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/SwanTestimony080723a.pdf Accessed 31 December 2022

[4] https://tesfanews.net/igad-manipulation-un-security-council-advance-ethiopia-agendas/  Accessed 12 December 2022

[5] https://shabait.com/2017/10/14/the-saga-of-the-semg-and-eritrea/ Accessed 31 December 2022

[6] https://www.ned.org/wp-content/themes/ned/search/grant-search.php?organizationName=&region=&projectCountry=Eritrea&amount=&fromDate=&toDate=&projectFocus%5B%5D=&search=&maxCount=25&orderBy=Year&start=1&sbmt=1 Accessed 1 January 2023

[7] The Algiers Agreements were witnessed and guaranteed by Secretary General Kofi Annan representing the United Nations, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of the Democratic Republic of Algeria, President Obasanjo of Nigeria, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright representing the United States, Secretary General, Salim Ahmed Salim representing the OAU, and Senator Renato Serri representing the European Union.

[8] https://pcacases.com/web/sendAttach/815 Accessed 31 December 2022

[9] https://www.addisherald.com/the-west-backed-rebel-group-breaks-5-month-truce-by-resuming-war-in-northern-ethiopia/ Accessed 1 January 2022

[10] https://twitter.com/CohenOnAfrica/status/1608667584970514432 Accessed 1 January 2023

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Permanent Representative of Eritrea to the United Nations.

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