Response to Secretary Antony Blinken’s Statement regarding COHA
From International Amhara Movement (iAM)
May 4, 2023
On 2 May 2023, the United States Secretary of State, Hon. Anthony J. Blinken, issued a press statement entitled: “Statement Marking Six-Month Anniversary of the Cessation of Hostilities in Northern Ethiopia.” In this connection, the International Amhara Movement (IAM) wishes to register its dismay over the deliberate misrepresentation of the reality on the ground regarding the implementation of COHA and the unfounded allegations and demands contained in the statement by Hon. Secretary of State.
The so-called “Cessation of Hostilities Agreement” (COHA) signed in Pretoria, on November 2, 2022, between the Ethnic-Apartheid Regime of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front is utterly flawed, as it fails to address the root causes of the conflict and excludes significant stakeholders, especially the Amhara people who endured the most suffering and destruction caused by the two-years conflict in North Ethiopia. The Hon. U.S. Secretary of State is fully aware that the Amhara people, 50 million strong and the largest in Ethiopia, have been deliberately excluded from the so-called peace process, despite their request and readiness to participate and represent their legitimate interests in the talks. Consequently, important matters, including issues related to accountability for the Genocide TPLF committed against Amharas in Wolkait and Raya as well as border demarcation between Tigray and Amhara region, were dealt with without representation of the Amhara people and to impose arbitrary solutions that would only perpetuate the conflict in the region.
With respect to the assertion in the statement of the Hon. U.S Secretary of State that “significant progress has been made in the implementation of the COHA,” the facts on the ground suggest otherwise: the most important part of the agreement requiring the full disarmament of the TPLF within thirty days of its signing has not been fulfilled to date. Despite the staged and manipulative efforts to create an appearance of a successful disarmament process, the TPLF still maintains most of its well-trained forces and heavy weaponry and, brazenly, is currently engaged in recruitment and training of more fighters to launch another war on the Amhara people.
The fact that TPLF has not been fully disarmed, as stipulated in th