10 November 2020
EPS Statement on the Current Situation in Ethiopia
The Eritrean people at home and abroad,
Patriotic Eritrean Defence Forces,
The outbreak of war and its rapid escalation in Ethiopia between the Special Forces and Militia of the Tigray Regional State, on the one hand, and the Ethiopian National Defence Force, on the other, represents a grave and dangerous development. The resort to force in the pursuit of political objectives operates to further complicate rather than to bring about a satisfactory resolution to existing problems. The sudden eruption of the war between the Regional State of Tigray and the Federal Government of Ethiopia would disrupt peace, security and stability in Ethiopia; aggravate Ethiopia’s longstanding structural problems; and cause negative detrimental spill over effects in the region, in general, and on Ethiopia’s immediate neighbours, in particular.
It is easy to ignite a war. It is, however, extremely difficult to predict when and how it would end. In the final analysis, war is nothing more than mass murder and mass destruction. As Andrew Bonar Law stated, “There is no such thing as an inevitable war. If war comes it will be from failure of human wisdom”. It was possible to avoid the war in the first place. Even now, it can and should be brought to a speedy end before too much devastation is wrought.
On this occasion, the Movement for Eritrean People’s Sovereignty (EPS) calls on the two belligerent parties to show the necessary wisdom and political will that gives primacy to the interest of the people to cease fighting and resolve their differences through negotiation. Furthermore, it calls on the international community, regional organisations and influential neighbouring countries to closely follow the evolving situation and exert maximum effort to help bring about swift cessation of hostilities and avail a forum for negotiation that facilitates a durable peaceful resolution of the outstanding issues in accordance with the rule of law. It urges the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IMRCRC), on their part, to make all necessary effort, in line with the international law of war, to closely follow the unfolding situation in the battlefield and prevent the civilian population of Tigray from being caught in the crossfire.
Even though the ongoing war in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia would have negative repercussions on all its immediate neighbouring countries, including Eritrea, whose resultant shock they are too fragile to absorb, it should absolutely be borne in mind that it is an internal Ethiopian affair that concerns Ethiopians. As such, Eritrea and Eritreans, both at home and abroad, should adopt a clear stance and pursue a balanced policy of non-alignment that prioritises the interest of the people and the country and strive to help defuse tensions and contribute to reconciliation.
On this occasion, EPS strongly urges the Eritrean Defence Forces to desist from any intervention, under any high command, reason or pretext, in the internal affairs of Ethiopia or conduct any aligned military activity across or beyond the colonial treaty border between Eritrea and Ethiopia. It calls on them to ensure the firm defence of the national territory by deploying along the international boundary between the two countries and focus their attention on doing away with the predatory regime that is destroying the country and oppressing the people; safeguarding the security of the people; and defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State of Eritrea.
In addition, every Eritrean should endeavour to ensure the safety of Eritrean residents and refugees in Ethiopia, especially in Tigray. It strongly urges the international community, in general, and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), in particular, of its conventional responsibility to ensure the safety and legitimate refugee status of all Eritrean refugees in accordance with international humanitarian law under the Geneva Convection.
A Just Peace for the People of Ethiopia, Including the People of Tigray!
Long Live an Independent Sovereign State of Eritrea!
Eternal Glory to Our Martyrs!