Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Statement on “an open call by African intellectuals for urgent action on Ethiopia” – GESI

Global Ethiopian Scholars Initiative responds to “an open call by African intellectuals for urgent action on Ethiopia.” Full statement from GESI is presented below.

We, the Board members of the Global Ethiopian Scholars Initiative (GESI), have read with interest and  disappointment the recent statement issued by concerned African intellectuals with reference to the  conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. 

GESI is a non-profit organization of leading scholars from across Ethiopia’s diverse regions and  registered in the US state of New York, with a mission to generate evidence relating to developments  regarding that country, with particular emphasis on external public opinion and internal policy  initiatives. 

The Board members of GESI sincerely appreciate the concern expressed by our fellow African  intellectuals on the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia, and its catastrophic impacts on civilians, properties and  infrastructure, and genuinely thank them for their recognition of Ethiopia’s continental significance and  its glorious contributions to advance the interests of African nations as the home of the African Union  (AU). 

However, we are extremely dismayed by the flagrant injudiciousness of the writers in disrespecting Ethiopia’s sovereignty, and their effrontery to draw a blatantly false equivalence between a terrorist  organization and an independent and sovereign nation. The flawed recommendations intended to  appease the terrorist group are not only a direct insult to the victims of TPLF’s atrocities, but also a  prescription for disaster that would set a dangerous precedent for similar extremist groups to  destabilize nations across the continent.  

We are equally appalled by the statement’s unfavorable characterization of the integrity of the AU and  Ethiopia’s neighbors, in a disturbing amplification of the rhetoric of certain Western countries, which  aim to advance the caustic agenda of the TPLF at the expense of peace and stability in that part of the  world. 

Notwithstanding the insinuation of the statement that Ethiopian scholars are unable to express their  opinions regarding the current situation, the peace-loving people of Ethiopia—both at home and  abroad—are overwhelmingly united, now more than any other time in their recent history, to save their  country, with unwavering resolve and determination, from the destructive aggression of the TPLF and  related criminal forces.  

We are distressed to note that the concerned intellectuals appear to be, wittingly or unwittingly, ill informed of the TPLF’s criminal past and current transgressions, which are immeasurably horrific even by the standards of totalitarian regimes in the African continent. As most genuine and informed African scholars can affirm, before the group was ignominiously removed from power by a popular uprising in  2018, the leaders of the TPLF had ruled the country with an apartheid-style iron fist for twenty-seven  years. The crimes committed by the group during those tragic years have been extensively documented  by humanitarian organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as in  successive US State Department Country Reports. It is also widely known that the TPLF had embezzled  billions of dollars of aid money that is now being used to finance a vicious disinformation campaign to  advance its nefarious agenda.

The esteemed intellectuals may take note that following its disgraceful dislodgment from power in 2018,  the terrorist group continued its vicious and subversive activities, despite all efforts by the central  government to bring it to the negotiation table. Its most unforgivable and egregious crime includes the treasonous attack it committed against the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense  Forces in the wee hours of November 4, 2020, in which thousands of non-Tigrean soldiers and officers were systematically massacred. After its total defeat in the ensuing counterattack launched by the  central government to restore law and order, the TPLF, which has now been officially declared as a  terrorist group, committed genocidal crimes in places like MaiKadra, and eventually resorted to waging  a relentless campaign of disinformation to befuddle world opinion, professional institutions and  unwitting intellectuals, with the strong patronage of certain Western media institutions and  governments.  

Disregarding the central government’s declaration of a unilateral ceasefire on June 28, 2021, and  repeated calls to the leaders of the terrorist group leaders to surrender and lay down their arms, the  TPLF has now launched its barefaced aggression in the Amhara and Afar regions, using child soldiers,  massacring innocent civilians, looting properties and destroying irreplaceable cultural and historical  heritage. 

It is ironic that the statement issued by the concerned intellectuals not only conveniently ignores the  dark history of the terrorist group and the crimes the group is still committing, but also conspicuously  fails to express regrets for the silence of the same intellectuals who did not find it worthy of their time  to raise their voices when the TPLF atrociously ruled the land with terror and vicious force for close to  three decades. 

As scholars, we do respect the academic freedom of intellectuals to express honest views and opinions  with unfettered freedom. However, the statement, which reads like a page borrowed from the  propaganda playbook of the TPLF, appears to be another futile attempt by the terrorist group to  camouflage its ugly crimes in the shadow of African intellectuals. Otherwise, our African literati would  not choose such impertinently inflammatory terms as the Tigray Defense Forces or TDF, knowing fully that Tigray is not a sovereign nation. One also wonders whether it was by accident or design that the  statement was published in the journal African Arguments, which was co-founded by the World Peace  Foundation, whose head is reportedly a fervent pro-TPLF apologist. 

The Board of Directors, GESI

Source: Borkena

By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of

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