Press Release: On the Media and alleged human rights violations and other crimes committed in Tigray (April 8, 2021)

The international media have been busy reporting crimes of all sorts of nature in the Tigray region since the beginning of the law enforcement operation that followed the unwarranted and surprise attack by the TPLF clique on the members of the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force on 4 November 2020. The government of Ethiopia not only sympathizes with the affected people and appreciates the rightful attention given to the protection of the rights of civilians in the Tigray region, but also leaves no stone unturned until the truth is revealed and perpetrators are brought to justice. Be that as it may, the government of Ethiopia believes that it has to set the records straight on slanted reports that continued to portray the federal government as an instigator of all crimes, while the belligerent TPLF appears to be the underdog that happens to be at the receiving ends of the alleged atrocities and human rights violations in the region.

The government of Ethiopia urges the international community to not be easily swayed by the propaganda campaign of the TPLF clique and its sympathizers, including the international media that tend to whitewash the crimes of the clique that has a track record of committing ineffable atrocities on Ethiopians for more than three decades. It should not also be forgotten that the government of Ethiopia has been dealing with a criminal enterprise that had been armed to its teeth and it would be naive to rule out the possibilities of civilian causalities during the rule of law operations in the region. As we have repeatedly said undesirable things might occur when dealing with a group that does not hesitate to use civilians as human shields and their household as hideouts.

The government of Ethiopia, once again, is deeply dismayed by the deaths of civilians and the unfortunate circumstances that led them to endure unbearable situations. The government has a policy of zero tolerance for human rights violations and is committed to holding into account whosoever is involved in the alleged rights violations. The recent agreement between the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the UN to run a joint investigation on alleged human rights violations in the region is a manifestation of the Ethiopian federal government’s devotion to taking the matter seriously.

Unfortunately, the international community has continued to be bombarded by biased reports that do not corroborate with the facts on the ground. Selective perceptions of news reports and journalists who have continued to observe things through colored glasses taint news outputs that often tend to find the federal government of Ethiopia as the usual suspect for all the allegedly committed human rights violations in the Tigray region. All the rush to accuse the government even tends to overshadow the well-substantiated crime committed against humanity by the TPLF clique on the innocent civilians of the Maikadra town.

The problem with TPLF is not just in initiating the crime, but its resolve to twist the truth and concoct stories through doctored footage in a bid to continue misinforming the world. And the sad thing is that the international media has been readily picking such products of the clique without giving second thoughts while pretending to fail to notice the clique’s wrongs. To make matters worse, TPLF has staunch and bankrolled accomplices who are self-acclaimed gurus on matters of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa.

The international community will understand the matter at hand objectively by applying a rudimentary level of logical reasoning heeding to the fact that the concerted disinformation campaign by International media on Ethiopia cannot be a basis for the reality on the ground. This understanding entails that Investigations on the credibility and scope of allegations in the region should be substantiated by independent bodies and not by simply relying on the mere accusatory reports of news agencies.

Putting all the blame for alleged crimes on the Ethiopian government and turning a blind eye to the misdeeds of TPLF that continued to play the victim will not be a viable way to give justice to affected people. Acknowledging the initiatives to run independent investigations over the alleged human rights violations in the region could be the first step to take. Holding the irresponsible TPLF clique, that has continued to urge the people of Tigray to continue fighting for meaningless causes, accountable for the sufferings it has caused and the human rights violations it has continued to committing in the region is another step to take as a genuine concern to ease up the sufferings of civilians.

The Spokesperson Office,

07 April 2021

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