BY A STAFF WRITER

As the world is marking World Humanitarian Day of 2022 with the theme,” it takes a village”, Ethiopia is surprised by the US double standard on humanitarian issue in Ethiopia. The international media and recipient states across the world are well aware of the humanitarian assistance that the USA has provided and continues to provide to the needy population across the world. This humanitarian assistance is supposed to be based only on addressing the humanitarian needs of people affected by various natural and manmade disasters across the world.

In a statement issued by on the 19th of August regarding the World Humanitarian Day that is marked since 2008, US President Joseph R Biden mentioned several countries in which his administration has been giving humanitarian support. He noted that “It is unconscionable that many of the worst drivers of displacement and humanitarian need, including conflict and climate change, continue unabated. And it is imperative that we collectively strengthen our humanitarian response—our funding and how we employ it.”

The President is hopefully aware of the fact that the drivers of displacements, humanitarian needs including conflicts and climate change have occurred in different parts of Ethiopia.

Indeed the vast majority of the displacements and conflicts that took place in Ethiopia are openly triggered by terrorist TPLF, before or after, the terrorist group launched an unprovoked attack on the northern command of National Defense Force on November 3, 2020.

Ever since, the terrorist group launched attacks  on civilians in Amhara and Afar regions several times, displacing millions people in the restive rural and urban areas. With ultra-modern information systems and satellite networks in their hands, US officials are certainly aware of the fact that thousands of women, children, nuns in monasteries and elderly women were raped by the militants of the terrorist group during its occupation of the areas. Mosques were demolished, monasteries looted and priests killed, most of them with no humanitarian assistance. It was appalling for children to see their mothers got raped by gangs in front of them; wives in front of their spouses.  

Many independent international journalists and political analysts visited victims and spoke to them; reporting to the world what TPLF had committed in Amhara and Afar areas during its invasion. Terrorist TPLF perpetrated untold crimes—i.e. looted public and private properties, deliberately destroyed schools, health facilities, killed animals, burned crops, and what have you.

To the dismay of the international community, the people and government of Ethiopia, the US President chose to refer to “ … supporting traumatized survivors of gender based violence in Tigray… “ as if no gender based violence has occurred in Amhara and Afar regions, disregarding the horrible atrocities the terrorist group has committed on civilians in Amhara and Afar regions.

The President deliberately tried to politicize humanitarian situation only in Tigray, escaping the most horrible crimes TPLF committed on Amhara and Afar regions. But why did President Biden ignore the most traumatized survivors of gender based violence by TPLF militants? This double standard and partiality do not only violate standard norms of international humanitarian assistance but is also a vested diplomatic support to a terrorist organization whose atrocities were witnessed by prominent journalists and UN officials alike.

The standard norms of behavior enacted by the UNHRC Hand Book recognizes major principles and norms of behavior include “humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality: these seven fundamental principles sum up the UNHCR ethics and are at the core of its approach to helping people in need during armed conflict, natural disasters and other emergencies.

It is quite clear that the statement made by President Biden is not in line with these globally accepted principles and norms as well as UN standards of humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian support in Ethiopia including Tigray needs to be based on the principle of neutrality and humanism and needs to be based on facts. Any causal victor to Ethiopia can immediately realize what the victims endured in Amhara and Afar is caused by terrorist TPLF and its terrorist associate Shene. It is important that international organizations and the American people recognize the glaring double standards against Amhara and Afar peoples in particular and the entire Ethiopians as a whole.

In the name of humanity, why did President Biden forget those children and women who were gang raped in front of either their mother or spouses?

The former US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, US Ambassador to Guinea and Ethiopia, long-term US diplomat, Tibor Nagy also, in his tweet expressed his dismay over the statement made by Biden: “Unfortunate that President Biden’s statement on World Humanitarian Day limits mention of suffering in Ethiopia’s Northern Conflict to only one region (Tigray) since other regions have also been victimized. Wording matters!”

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