Ethiopian National Defense Force says Tigrayan UN peacekeepers who refuse to come home “traitors”, demands apology form UNHCR

Ethiopia Tigray

(Source: Addis Standard, By Siyanne Mekonnen @Siyaanne, Addis Abeba, 24 February 2021) – 

Major General Mohammed Tessema, the director of indoctrination at the ENDF said that the military officers were ‘ethnic Tigrayans who represent the TPLF’

The Ethiopia National Defense Forces (ENDF) called 15 Tigrayan members of the ENDF who were deployed with the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan and who refused to board a flight in Juba airport, “traitors backed by the UNHCR and Tigrayans working in the UN.” The ENDF also demanded an apology from the UNHCR.

On February 22, 15 members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces who were part of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) have refused to board a plane back home. “This morning, 169 members of the Ethiopian contingent were due to rotate out of Juba and (be) replaced by fresh contingents, a part of a normal rotation,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, is quoted as saying by AFP .

Several reports indicate that the incident has turned violent at Juba airport with pictures circulating on social media showing bloodied Tigrayan members of the ENDF.

Jean- Pierre Lacroix, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations on his part said that he was concerned about these reports. “Our peacekeepers are deployed under the authority of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and they are protected by relevant international laws and norms.” he said, further emphasizing the importance of applying these protections to “all UN peacekeepers.”

According to Mr. Dujarric the 15 Tigrayan members of the ENDF “are receiving support from the South Sudanese Ministry of Refugee Affairs,” he said during his daily press briefing on Monday, and further added that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was “aware” of the situation and in contact with South Sudanese authorities.

Speaking at his daily briefing on Tuesday, Mr. Dujarric said the peacekeepers “remain safe in the care of South Sudanese and UNHCR authorities, and they are being assessed. But, their right to request asylum and protection is being taken extremely seriously and is being respected.”

But on Tuesday, Major General Mohammed Tessema, the director of indoctrination at the ENDF said that the military officers were “ethnic Tigrayans who represent the TPLF”. He said that their refusal to return home was an attempt to entice violence at Juba airport and further accused them of trying to use the media to defame and betray their country; they created chaos at the airport “by shouting and rolling on the ground” to attract the attention of the international community and “defame the image of Ethiopia”. He also said they were backed by “ethnic Tigrayans working with the UNHCR and other radical diaspora Tigrayas who live in the region.”

Maj. Gen. Mohammed said that the UNHCR should admit that what it did was wrong and demanded an apology. “The sense of unity among the ENDF exposed the actions of the ‘destructive force’”, he said, adding “The army will continue to maintain peace and sovereignty of the country.”

In December last year, three Ethiopian Tigrayan peacekeepers  UNMISS were withdrawn and deported to their country without due procedure, prompting UNMISS officials to voice concerns over the possible violation of human rights. “The Mission’s Human Rights Division is following up on their situation. As a Troop Contributing Country, Ethiopia is ultimately responsible for the conduct and movement of its troops,” a spokesperson at UNMISS said at the time. However, if personnel are discriminated against because of their ethnicity or any other reason, this could involve a human rights violation under international law.” AS


1 thought on “Ethiopian National Defense Force says Tigrayan UN peacekeepers who refuse to come home “traitors”, demands apology form UNHCR

  1. We all are ethnic Tigrayans do represent the TPLF. Period. This man is a snake in the grass, back-stabber, himself. Many of the current leaders were under the supervision of TPLF and famous henchmen during those 27 years.

    Many ethiopains were slaugheterd by Derge regime, led by Col. Mengistu Hailemariam, ethiopia was known for its poor economy and highest rates of educational exclusion in the world including other subsaharan countries. However, TPLF adminstration displayed a rigorous approach towards educational excellence worked to reduce rates of educational exclusion in the country.

    TPLF adminstration built many universities , these can be seen at the following link

    Between 2000 and 2013 it almost doubled the share of its budget allocated to education, from 15% to 27%. For example, the United States’ federal government spends just over 6%. The number of primary schools almost tripled from 1996 to 2015, while student enrollment grew from less than 3 million to over 18 million within the same period—almost universal. Youth literacy meanwhile jumped from 34% in 2000 to 52% in 2011.TPLF made ethiopia, 2000 to 2018, rank the third-fastest growing country.

    TPLF sent many of these thugs who turned out to be back-stabbers and snakes in the grass from various universities and public offices for work mission and upon their arrival they transformed themselves into asylum seekers with a fabricated story that could likely win the heart of UNHCR staff.

    Many amhara elites prefer to talk tell a bogus story of abuses during TPLF than that of derge regime or what their amhara did to them. TPLF had appointed many people from amhara region and if they claim that these asylum seekrs were illtreated it was committed by their own people .

    Many of elites who were working for TPLF are not favored by these asylum seekrs in US and EU , becaue they are amhara or nonTegarus. Abiy , Demeke Mekonen, Redwan Hussen were working during those 27 years which Amhara elites consider as dark era . TPLF excutive leaders receive information and documents upon which their decicion is relied. TPL leaders are dependant upon the information they receive from any oficial running regional or minsterial offies. Hence, why cannot balme thier leaders if they think things are getting wrong rather we see them working with all amhara leaders who were appointed diring TPLF leadership times. It is all about ethnic based profiling and Ethnocentrism-conception of members of a culture or social group as being the center, the normal, and superior to the others which is manifested by amhara elites.

    NB People become blinded by their personal perspectives, medemer , amharnized ethiopiyawinet, to the extent where it becomes the correct choice for them to enforce their philosophies on other people at any expense.

    When you see an act of terrorism, either domestic or foreign, then you are witnessing an act of ethnocentrism.

    If they claim ethiopia is doing great now in trems of its educational, econmic, public insfrastructure , it is only and only because TPLF laid a strong foundation beforehand.I never been supporter of TPLF rather an opponent wishing to welcome a new administration that could raise the country from poverty because I was deluded by those habitual lairs and pretenciously threcherous amhara men, preaching unity while being power mongers in diguise concealing thier thirst for power, who want to see an Amahara man becoming king in Ethiopia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *