An open letter to the U.S. Senate

Accountability Measures for Tigray

26 so far! Let’s get to 50 signers!

The Tigrayan community in the United States is grateful for the concern and bi-partisan resolution calling all parties to the conflict to cease all hostilities, protect human rights, allow unfettered humanitarian access, and facilitate independent investigations of atrocities in Tigray. Months of armed conflict in Tigray that had already left thousands of civilians dead and hundreds of thousands displaced, most of them along ethnic-lines, Ethiopia National Defense Forces Eritrean Defense Forces and Amhara regional forces continue their terror. When West Tigray was finally made accessible to international agencies, the visible ethnic cleansing through forcible transfer of population by intimidation and looting/burning the livelihood assets sent a shock wave of recognition by the United States to respond. In this context, we are very concerned that some of the statements in the resolution are not commensurate with the degree of grave violations to human rights and International Humanitarian Laws being committed against ethnic Tigrayans. Specifically, we would like to request the following: a) We urge you to strengthen S. Res. 97 (7B) to include by name “Global Magnitsky authorities and other sanctions” as proposed by the Honorable Congressman Gregory W. Meeks and Congressman Michael T. McCaul in their letter sent to His Excellency Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on 30 March 2021. b) We urge you to introduce a preamble in S. Res. 97 acknowledging the crime of starvation in Tigray by Ethiopia National Defense Forces, Eritrean Defense Forces and Amhara regional forces, through widespread and systematic pillaging, burning of crops, land/homesteads, destruction of place of employment, health facilities, acknowledged by United Nations, Oxfam, well reputed journalists and documented by famine researchers. c) We ask that S. Res. 97 acknowledges the deliberate and systematic destruction, vandalization and looting of health facilities by Ethiopia National Defense Forces and Eritrean Defense Forces d) We respectfully request that the statement on the context around the initiation of the armed conflict be revised. Specifically, this can be addressed by reintroducing part of a previously deleted preamble (vS.Res.798: Whereas the Tigray People’s Liberation Front claims it acted in self-defense). e) We urge that a preamble be introduced, recognizing acts of ethnic cleansing committed in Western Tigray, as acknowledged by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and many other partners on the ground. In conclusion, considering the above, including the nature and extent of the reported atrocities including several massacres in places of worship, gruesome rape with expressed genocidal intentions demands swift imposition of targeted sanctions. Accountability measures must be put for immediate cessation of the ongoing atrocities against civilians, and for immediate, unconditional, and verified removal of the Eritrean and Amhara forces from Tigray.

First sent on April 8 by Stand With Tigray

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