An Open Letter to Nobel Peace Prize Committee

Open Letters

Open Letter

Norwegian Nobel Committee
HenrikIbsen Gate 51, N-0255
Oslo, Norway

June 10, 2021

Dear Nobel Committee Members,

The continuation of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Tigray (Ethiopia) prompts us to write to your prestigious committee, as a follow up to our letters of November 17, 2020 and April 19, 2021. Once again, we would like to reiterate our expression of heartfelt thanks to you for your intervention of November 17, 2020, in which you raised your deep concern about developments in Ethiopia and asked “all the involved parties to end the escalating violence and to solve disagreements and conflicts by peaceful means”.

It is very unfortunate that your appeal for peace, and those of many other peace-loving agencies across the globe, have remained heedless by the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments. Frequent calls by the African Union, G7 leaders, the US government, the European Union and the United Nations for ending hostilities and facilitating access for humanitarian agencies have deliberately been neglected by Mr. Ahmed. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has raised deep concern about the human rights violations and sexual violence in Tigray. The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) announced its conditions for peace negotiations on February 19, 2021 – a demand that was reiterated by other Tigrayan parties on 20 February, 2021. On April 22, 2021, the members of the UN Security Council “expressed their deep concern about allegations of human rights violations and abuses, including reports of sexual violence against women and girls in the Tigray region and called for investigations to find those responsible and bring them to justice.”

Mr. Ahmed has thwarted all regional and global attempts for peace through his repeated rhetoric on sovereignty and the so-called principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. He is buying drones and destructive weapons from Ukraine and Turkey to continue with his dreadful atrocities.

While receiving Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Mr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, expressed his commitment to peace by mentioning that he used to be a witness to war’s “cruelty and what it can do to people. War makes for bitter men. Heartless and savage men.” The Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee raised the hope that the prestigious Nobel Prize would “strengthen Prime Minister Abiy in his important work in peace and reconciliation.” He was awarded Nobel Prized due to his reconciliation with the Eritrean ruler, Mr. Isaias Afwerki. Alas! Now they both have shaken hands ripping their cloaks of shame to use all diabolical means to meet their dreadful ends, with the blood of millions of Tigrayans.

Since the occupation Tigray by the armies of Mr. Ahmed and his collaborator Mr. Afwerki of Eritrea, reports of rapes, war crimes and crimes against humanity have come to the fore one after another. Nowhere in the world the rape of women as old as 80 and as young as 4 has been used as a weapon of war and a horrifying means of intimidation and humiliation of the entire population. In the Mekelle city Hospitals over 1200 surviving women were treated recently. I am sure you agree with us that the physical and psychological after-effects of rape leave everlasting trauma throughout the lives of survivors.

The invading forces, including Eritrean army, have prevented farmers from their activities by destroying their tools, slaughtering their draft animals and seizing their land. When they invaded Tigray in November, they burnt crops in the field, killed livestock, chopped down orchards and destroyed grain in storage as part of their deliberate attempt to starve people. Over 1.5 million of Tigrayans, mostly farmers or farm workers, have become victims of ethnic cleansing in Western Tigray.

The humanitarian crisis resulting from the occupation has been aggravated. Heavy casualties and destruction, mass displacement of 100,000 people from Tigray, 65,000 Tigrayan refugees in Sudan have, among others, exacerbated environmental degradation of the entire region. There are also hair-raising reports about indiscriminate killing of civilians (including the execution of 230 priests), extrajudicial executions, destruction of UNESCO heritage sites, churches, monasteries, universities, hospitals, and health facilities by the occupying armies. They have come out with the sinister strategy of using chemical weapons (white phosphorous) and famine as a component of their genocidal policy against defenseless people of Tigray.

Millions of people suffer from starvation, that is being used as a dreadful weapon of ethnic cleansing. More than 5.4 million Tigrayans will perish if action is not taken immediately. The present armed conflict, has the unfortunate potential of being escalated into a full-fledged war with similar impacts on the already fragile Horn of Africa. It can endanger peace and security of the family of nations.

We, at the CCVT, join millions of people across the globe to appreciate your esteemed committee for its indefatigable endeavors to the spread of the eloquent ideal of peace in the world. We, however, believe that your honest efforts and your good name must not be tainted by war-mongering elements, like Mr. Ahmed and Isaias Afwerki, who have started to reduce this beautiful planet to a burning inferno. We do expect you to raise your voice and take a strong position against the evil of this avoidable war that was masterminded by one of your award recipients. Your direct and urgent intervention is crucial in this dark period of the Ethiopian and African history.

We, at the CCVT, expect your esteemed Committee to rely on your moral authority and utilize all possible means to materialize the following demands:

  • revoke the Nobel Peace Prize. It is not meant for genocide enablers;
  • the full and unconditional withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Tigray under the UN supervision;
  • Seeking a multilateral solution by establishing peace-keeping forces at the Ethiopia-Eritrea border;
  • cessation of hostilities, restoration of the democratically elected government of Tigray and engaging in peace negotiations with the involvement of all parties in Ethiopia;
  • unhindered access to humanitarian aid to all part of Tigray;
  • release of all political prisoners (detained in jails and military camps);
  • repatriation of refugee and displaced people to their homes in Tigray in safety and dignity under the supervision of the United Nations and African Union;
  • investigation of all human rights violations including the crime of genocide, rape, war crimes and crimes against humanity;
  • prosecution of the perpetrators of heinous international crimes;
  • reconstruction of war-ravaged areas.

We expect your committee to protect the ideals and brilliant principles of the Nobel Prize and play a leading role in bringing a durable peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia. Please act before it is too late. With best wishes and in the hope of more co-operations in the future,

Yours sincerely,
Mulugeta Abai
Executive Director

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