Open Letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken Regarding the Recent Statement on Ethiopia


May 4, 2023

The Honorable Antony Blinken

Secretary of State

U.S. Department of State

2201 C St. NW

Washington D.C.

Dear Secretary Blinken,

We, the undersigned organizations of Ethiopians in the Diaspora, write to express our consternation on your recent statement relating to the six-month anniversary of the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA) between the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in Pretoria.

While we applaud in principle the US engagement in bringing much-needed peace to the people of the region, we are appalled by your statement, which in our view is partisan and inconsistent with the dangerous situation on the ground, and likely to encourage further bloodshed and war atrocities against the Amhara people. 

If history is any reference, this recent statement is reminiscent of previous missed opportunities by policymakers in the US and other Western nations and institutions concerning the predicaments of that country in particular and the Horn of Africa in general.

In the early 1970’s, negligent policymakers in the US pushed Ethiopia into the fold of the Eastern Bloc, and precipitated decades of civil war and a brutal military dictatorship.

In 1991, the US brokered a peace talk in London under the stewardship of Herman Cohen and handed power to the TPLF, which viciously ruled the country for the subsequent three decades. Since then, Cohen has regretted the disastrous consequence of that policy on numerous occasions.

Recently, the US played an active role in the exclusionary and ill-fated Pretoria deal, whose unmistakable intent and outcome was the resuscitation of the TPLF, which had instigated a war that cost over a million lives and incalculable property damage,  and resulted in immeasurable  human suffering in the Amhara and Afar regions.

Mr. Secretary,

Your inopportune statement, which subliminally is reflective of TPLF’s claim of Amhara ancestral lands, is especially alarming in its omission of the ongoing war declared against the Amhara people by the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.  As the intelligence community of your own government can validate, the federal government of Ethiopia has continued in the Amhara region at large, under the guise of the implementation of the COHA, the genocidal crimes that have been going on in the Oromia region.

We, therefore, request that you recant your statement and: