Email campaign to the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA, Europe Division

Note: One week after this email campaign by Ethiopians in Switzerland, Swiss President Guy Parmelin sent a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

የኢትዮጵያ ሁኔታ መሻሻል ካላሳየ የአውሮፓ ፓርላማ በOctober ወር መጨረሻ በኢትዮጵያ ላይ ከባድ ማዕቀብ እንደሚጥል አሳውቋል።

ሁለት ደቂቃ ብቻ ከሰዓቶት ላይ በመውሰድ ከዚህ በታች ያለውን ቅጽ እና ደብዳቤ በመጠቀም የስዊዘርላንድ ፌዴራል የውጭ ጉዳይ መምሪያ (FDFA) ከአውሮፓ ህብረት ጋር ባለው የሁለትዮሽ ግንኙነት በኩል ተጽዕኖ እንዲያደርግ የበኩሎውን አስተዋፅዖ ያድርጉ።

Dear Ethiopians in Switzerland,

As you may know, the European Parliament has adopted a resolution calling for wide range sanctions on Ethiopia if situation fails to improve by the end of October.

Please take 2 minutes to use the form below, paste the attached letter below and plead to the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) to use its influence through its bilateral relationship with the EU.

  1. Click on
  2. Copy the letter below and Paste in the Inquiry Field, fill the other fields and Send

The Situation in Northern Ethiopia,
To the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA, Europe Division

Dear Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis,

As an Ethiopian citizen living for many years in Switzerland, I am deeply concern about the conflict in Northern part of Ethiopia, Tigray, Amhara and Afar. During the last months the international community EU, USA and their alliances struggles to address the conflict in Ethiopia by Supporting TPLF. Ethiopia has the right to defend her sovereignty, despite its painful experience during its membership in the League of Nations, Ethiopia has never lost confidence in multilateralism in UN and EU member states .” The Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has indicated at various occasions its readiness to work together with international community for a bright future of mutual benefit.

In recent day the passage of a resolution on the situation in Tigray in the EU parliament on October 7, 2021, I am concerned that the continental body is indifferent to the plight of most Ethiopian people.

I would like to emphasise that the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) did not want to engage in any form of military conflict in Tigray. The current conflict began when the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) carried out surprise attacks on GoE Army Barracks in Tigray. It should be recalled also that TPLF rejected a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire that might have restored some semblance of peace and brought about a respite for their own compatriots suffering in the Tigray region.

Instead, TPLF went on to dramatically expand the conflict into the neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara, leading to more abuses,  death, destruction, and internal displacement. If the abuses, death, destruction, or displacement in Tigray is wrong, so is it in all other regions. Thus, I am stunned to witness how the international community chose to look only at one side of the story without fact-checking, choosing to blame, isolate, condemn and possibly punish all the people and GoE.

Ethiopians are by nature peace-loving, God-fearing, and tolerant – all of which explains the fact that many regional populations with various religions, ethnic and/or linguistic affiliations lived peacefully together for millennia. Despite being the most populous country in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia never attempted to assert its hegemony on the relatively smaller and weaker neighbors. Every conflict in Ethiopia, including the current one, can be traced to “power-hungry” politicians who invoke one or other of the differences among the populace.

The EU supported a TPLF-dominated, repressive government in Ethiopia for 27 long years without adequately questioning its brutal human rights abuses. Now too, we have yet to hear any word of condemnation against the TPLF for either starting the war, the reported abuses, or the expansion of the conflict into Eritrea, Amhara, and Afar, after an offer of a ceasefire by the GoE.

I believe that if the EU, USA, and UNSC had been critical of the TPLF in equal measure to their criticism of the GoE, the likelihood is that there would have been a ceasefire months ago and there would be talks at this time. It is clear to many that the attitude and one-sided support of the EU, USA, and UNSC for the TPLF has, without doubt, emboldened the group to escalate the conflict. It is not too late to take a more balanced approach, leveling criticism wherever it is due,  such that the two sides may begin to see that they need to talk and do so in an African context.

TPLF, emboldened by the support of the EU, USA, and UNSC, and dissatisfied with their position in a coalition government, attacked the core of the national army so that it might march triumphantly into Addis Ababa and regain its autocratic dominance. But, Ethiopians have said never again. For this principled resistance, the western powers are considering punishment in the form of sanctions – thus,  marginalizing Ethiopia economically for many years to come. Sanctions,  targeted or not, are blunt instruments that will likely harm innocent people rather than the powers behind the conflict.

Peacebuilding is enshrined in the Swiss Federal Constitution and is one of the country’s priorities of foreign policy. As such, Switzerland maintains diplomatic relations with almost all countries and historically has served as a neutral intermediary and host to major international treaty conferences.

I plead with the government of Switzerland to use its influence with its bilateral relationship with the EU to be on the right side of history and support the struggle and resistance of Ethiopians against the restoration of a TPLF dictatorship that will guarantee the disintegration of their country.