EU Parliament Resolution: a move in the right direction?
Source: Globe News Net
October 10, 2021
The EU Parliament Resolution of 7 October 2021 on Tigray/Ethiopia, deploring the expulsion of UN officials from Ethiopia, which is a flagrant breach of the UN Charter, calls upon immediate ceasefire, an independent investigation of international offences, unfettered access to aid and opening public services to Tigray.
Most crucially, the Parliament:
‘Regrets that the UN Security Council has so far not addressed the situation in Tigray; urges the EU and its Member States to press the UN Security Council to hold regular public meetings on Tigray and to take decisive action to ensure unhindered humanitarian access, to safeguard the protection of civilians, to end grave violations of international law, and to ensure accountability for the atrocities; calls on the UN Security Council to consider deploying UN peacekeepers to the region’ (Para 19).
The Resolution further challenges the rouge regime of Abiy Ahmed to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Para 23) which seems a testing and shaming exercise from the part of EU parliamentarians.
The Resolution is the first of its kind with respect to calling for triggering global and regional responses to the crimes being committed by the allied forces of genocide in Tigray, including the unprecedented total siege of the Tigray region.
Would it remedy the shameful failure of protecting Tigrayans from man-made famine and deaths, potential completion of the genocidal project and from the openly declared ethnic cleansing declared on them throughout Ethiopia?
Without a doubt the international community and its institutions have failed the Tigray population despite the grim reality that they have been subjected to credible international crimes, including crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide being committed by the Abiy, Isaias and other extremists within Ethiopia, with the backing and blessing of their undignified foreign allies.
This is not to discredit the actions taken, even if limited, by the United States, the European Union, and the UN. The relief efforts undertaken, although seriously hampered by the genocidal forces, must also be commended by all justice, peace, and humanity lovers.
Yet the countless massacres, widespread and horrific sexual violence, the wanton destruction of property, the apparent use of starvation as a weapon and the on-going systemic ethnic cleansing against Tigrayans have all been given a lip service at best and a deaf ear at worst by the global community.
As we speak, the Ethiopian despotic regime and its allies have launched a renewed offensive to enforce their total siege of the Tigray region and dismantle their regional government and defence forces.
Genocidal wars are always defeated at the end despite the incalculable harm they inflict on targeted populations and victims. The criminals are often caught and punished when the time comes. This had been witnessed in Nazi Germany, the Yugoslavia and Rwanda genocidal wars. Without a question, the same would be the fate of the genocidal war waged on Tigray and its orchestrators.
The question nonetheless is whether the international community would be on the right side of history to defend its legal and moral norms, as it did during World War 2, the other genocide cases that occurred in the last three or so decades.
If implemented and turned into action, the European Parliament Resolution appears a move in the right direction. More specifically, the call for halting the war as soon as possible, prioritising live-saving and other humanitarian actions, returning basic services and end the siege on Tigray, disclosing all forcibly disappeared Tigrayan civilians and terminating all discriminatory measures, imposing arms and surveillance supplies on Ethiopia and for targeting of those responsible for gruesome crimes in the conflict by EU States.
The Resolution is the first to refer to peacekeeping in response to the Tigray crisis. It is also the first to demand a decisive action by the Security Council. Most, if not all, of these demands are nonetheless made before by the United States and other states. The US Presidential Order announced on 17 September 2021 aims to punish those who are responsible or complicit in obstructing relief, targeting civilians and UN personnel.
While the EU Parliament Resolution appears to be a comprehensive response yet to the Tigray crisis, the US move was much more concrete in terms of legal and practical force envisaged against criminals. The commonality of the two is that there is no evidence that a concrete action that would bring meaningful redress to the misery of the Tigray people who are under full blockade and the other communities in Ethiopia who become victims of the armed violence would be taken by powerful countries to uphold humanity.
Astonishingly, both the EU Resolution and the US Order place the victim and the offender on the same plate and target them accordingly. Punishing the Tigrayan authorities and forces would amount adding salt on the wounds of Tigrayans.
How can one demand a population under siege to halt a fight, withdraw from the buffer zones they have secured through their blood and the positions they hold to defend and attack the aggressors? Is there any legal and moral justification to consider the genocidal forces and the Tigray forces as equal culprits to the starvation, deaths, rapes, destruction, killing and expulsion of UN and other aid workers? Is there any reliable evidence that the Tigray forces recruit child soldiers other than the Abiy, Isaias and other extremists’ propaganda and social media machinery?
Although the EU Resolution and the US presidential order must be acknowledged in a situation where the west and Russian and China are highly divided perhaps more than the Cold War era, it remains to be seen whether any concrete result would come out of them.
The UN system, the Security Council particularly, is totally fractured. It has been tested by the Tigray genocidal war. It is now evident that the UN is incapable of doing something while all its humanitarian officials are purged by one of its founding member State, Ethiopia. The Organisation is incapable of doing something while an entire population within a country is under complete siege, and a country is falling apart on the hands of rouge (regional) leaders. The Council has failed miserably to stop countries such as Turkey who are supplying with weapons to genocidal actors.
Would European states make any difference in such circumstances? Of course, they can, if member States and other European allies, such as Britain, take concrete action regionally and globally to spare the Tigray population from further atrocities, ethnic cleansing, sexual violence and the denial of basic services and necessities. Unless we witness such follow up measures to the EU Parliament Resolution, therefore, it would only add to the usual shameful rhetoric of international actors.
On a positive note, the Abiy and Isaias regimes are diplomatically and politically alienated from the rest of the world except from a few weapon suppliers and corrupt regimes. The EU Resolution passed by hundreds of European parliamentarians provide clear trajectory as to where the people of Europe stand on the Tigray conflict; they abhor the Addis-Asmara-Bahri-dar criminal gang. These criminals are also effectively challenged by victims of genocide and crimes against humanity, the Tigray Defence Forces (TDF) and their Ethiopian allies. The end game, be it a negotiated settlement or else, would therefore be determined by those who have just cause, and not by the genocidal and rouge leaders and actors.
To sum up, anyone who advocates for peace, justice and humanity must put pressure on EU States and politicians to take the EU Parliament move to the next level, taking concrete and appropriate action against the offenders (and not the victims) in Ethiopia. Furthermore, those who have sided with those starving a population for their political end such as Turkey must be exposed, named, and shamed for their actions.
The struggle for survival shall continue, the people of Tigray will prevail at the end, whether or not backed by the global community.