GSTS Expresses its Strong Disappointment with the Alarmist & Misleading Statement by African Union Commision (AUC) Chairperson, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat.

Mekelle:  27 April 2024 (Tigray Herald)

GSTS Expresses its Strong Disappointment with the Alarmist & Misleading Statement by African Union Commision (AUC) Chairperson, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat.

GSTS Expresses Disappointment with the Alarmist and Misleading Statement by AUC Chairperson, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat

The Global Society of Scholars and Professionals (GSTS) is deeply disappointed by the alarmist and misleading statement released by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, on the 25th of April 2024.

In this statement, Mr Faki bizarrely calls for “both sides” to deescalate tensions in areas that he claims are “contested.” It is very surprising that H.E. seems to be unaware, or premeditatedly chose to ignore, that the areas he mentions in his statement are part of the constitutionally recognised territories of the Tigray region and are by that definition can only legally be under the administration of the Tigray Interim Administration. These areas were illegally and forcefully annexed by forces of the Amhara regional government through massive ethnic cleansing of Tigrayans from their homes and properties.

Moreover, it is paradoxical for Mr Faki to call for the full implementation of the Agreement for Lasting Peace Through a Permanent Cessation of Hostilities (CoHA) without acknowledging the stipulation that all forces other than the Ethiopian National Defence Forces will have to withdraw from all Tigray territories; and thus internally displaced persons and refugees, under the safeguard of the Tigray Interim Administration, will be returned to their homes and lands. These stipulations are in line with the express intent of the Pretoria Agreement to bring durable peace and stability in Tigray, Ethiopia and beyond, which principally entails restoring constitutional order and respecting the Ethiopia federal structure, including reinstituting Tigray’s administrative and territorial integrity to its pre-November 3, 2020, status quo.

The current cherry-picking approach is unfortunately characteristic of the continued various ill-conceived and potentially dangerous interventions by the Chairperson since the start of the genocidal war on Tigray in November 2020. From the onset of the war on Tigray, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat has exhibited little to no effort to retain impartiality and woefully failed at every stage to act as befits his role as a representative of such an important institution. Most notably, he actively endorsed the war on Tigray as a

“legitimate” military action that the Ethiopian government took on Tigray, in an

irresponsible act, that defied the core principles of the African Union Commission (AUC).

This endorsement has effectively facilitated, if not downright contributed to, the death of

over one million Tigrayans, the displacement of over 2.6 million people and the complete

destruction of the livelihood of the people of Tigray.

Additionally, the AU’s decision to suspend its investigation against human rights abuses, amounting to ethnic cleansing, war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide, committed in Tigray was another regrettable institutional failure of the AUC under the leadership of Mr Faki Mahamat.

With this in mind, we once more call upon Mr Faki Mahamat to discharge his responsibilities in a manner that supports and not hinders the implementation of the CoHA, and the core values and principles entrenched in the establishment of the AU charter. We particularly request the AUC and its chairperson act responsibly to ensure:

1. the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all foreign (Eritrean) and Non-ENDF (Amhara) forces from the constitutionally recognized territories of Tigray according to the CoHA and Nairobi declaration of the senior commanders (Declaration 2d);

1. the dignified, safe and voluntary return of millions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and tens of thousands of Tigrayan refugees in Sudan to their places of origin, and access to and restitution to their homes, land, properties, business, and other entitlements, with packages and instruments that ensure their physical, legal, and psychological protection, and reunification of separated families;

2. the effective monitoring, verification and compliance in the Tigray region to ensure the implementation of the Pretoria agreement and Nairobi declarations; and

3. that it/he publicly condemns the unprovoked belligerent, hostile and warmongering statement issued by the Amhara Regional State, which endangers the Pretoria agreement and potentially poses a significant threat to the hard-won ongoing peace process, with a possibility to drag Ethiopia back to war.

GSTS strongly underlines that failure to put all pressures and available instruments to enact the full implementation of the AUC-sponsored and led Pretoria Agreement not only endangers the ongoing peace process but also sets a dangerous precedent for perpetuating more conflicts in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa, and also puts the effectiveness, credibility, and mission of the AUC at great risk.

Finally, we recognize with appreciation the call from the Chairperson for the commencement of political dialogue in Ethiopia but reiterate that the implication that such a dialogue is intended to address unconstitutional territorial claims undermines the possibility and effectiveness of the pathway set out by the Pretoria Agreement to facilitate peace within the federal constitutional framework. The express intent of the intended political dialogue should be to address the political differences that led to the war on


GSTS reiterates its support to the peace process launched through the CoHA and Nairobi

Executive Talks; and fully commits to working with all regional and international bodies

as well as the AU Monitoring, Verification, and Compliance Mission (MVCM).

Global Society of Tigray Scholars

and Professionals (GSTS)

26 April 2024

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