National Congress of Great Tigray condemns the mischaracterization of Tigray’s territories and misrepresentation of the situation in Tigray.

Mekelle:  27 April 2024 (Tigray Herald)

National Congress of Great Tigray condemns the mischaracterization of Tigray’s territories and misrepresentation of the situation in Tigray.

In accordance with the provisions of Pretoria peace agreement, the interim administration in Tigray, in consultations with the federal government, has initiated the long-overdue process of regaining control over Tigray’s territories in Raya areas of the southern Tigray zone. While commending such positive steps, the National Congress of Great Tigray (Baitona) vehemently opposes, in strongest possible terms, the recent statements released by the African Union (AU), and by Addis Ababa based embassies of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States jointly, regarding this recent development in southern Tigray zone. The repetitive mischaracterization of Tigray’s territories as “contested areas” and misrepresentation of the situation on ground, falsely suggesting the presence of ethnic tensions where none exist, serves nothing other than perpetuating the distorted narratives that pushed the nation into the current chaotic state. These misleading statements disregard the historical and legal facts surrounding the ownership of the Tigrayan territories. Baitona firmly asserts that these territories are Tigray’s rightful lands, and any attempt to claim otherwise is a direct violation of the Ethiopian constitution and rights of the people enshrined therein..

National Congress of Great Tigray is embarrassed by AU’s continuous failure to live up to its responsibilities as a regional organization committed to ensuring peace, justice, and security in the continent. From the outset, the AU has ostensibly supported the war on Tigray and sought to conceal the catastrophic events unfolding in Tigray region until global peace actors intervened and convened peace talks that culminated in Pretoria’s CoHs agreement. Adding to its track record of negligence to the plight of the entire Tigray population, the AU is once again causing agony to the people of Tigray by persistently misinforming the international community. The AU’s failure to provide an accurate and objective assessment of the situation in Tigray is disappointing. Its consistent favoritism to the federal government, contrary to its proclaimed role as a mediator, raises serious concerns about its impartiality and commitment to justice. Baitona compounded with the federal government’s conspiratorial approach to the agreement is perhaps causing the delays in the implementation of the peace agreement.

The National Congress of Great Tigray, therefore, calls upon the AU and the embassies based in Addis Ababa to immediately rectify their misleading statements and acknowledge the rightful ownership of Tigray’s territories. Baitona also urges the concerned organization and entities to provide accurate and reliable information on the basis of objective assessments from the ground than relying on information fed by other politically motivated and partisan actors. It is critical that AU upholds its responsibility as a regional organization by promoting dialogue, justice, and the respect for the rights of the people. We call up on all guardians of this peace agreement to closely scrutinize the AU’s handling of the implementation of the peace agreement.

We further call upon the international community and relevant stakeholders to stand in solidarity with the people of Tigray, support their just cause, and work towards a lasting and sustainable peace in the region.

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