Open Letter to Chatham House: Stop Backing Dictators and Death Mongers

23 July 2019 –

The Royal Institute of International Affairs,
Chatham House,
10 St. James’s Square,
London, SW1Y 4LE,
England, UK,

SOCEPP firmly opposes the decision to include PM Abiy Ahmed as a nominee for the Chatham 2019 prize. The nomination goes against your mission statement ,” to help governments and societies build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world”, and is an injustice on the people of Ethiopia who are presently suffering under the ethnic chauvinist and repressive regime of Abiy Ahmed.

The vast PR to sell the PM as a reformist has now been exposed for what it is–a lie. Not even one fourth of the political prisoners have been released despite propaganda to the contrary. Thousands have in fact been rounded up and sent to prisons and labor camps. The popular demand for an end to the rule of the TPLF/EPRDF has been rejected and the PM has refused to heed the call for a broad based transitional government and a new people approved Constitution. The deliberate continuation of the EPRDF has meant the continuation of discriminatory ethnic rule: the Tigreans replaced by the Oromos of the now dominating Oromo Democratic Party (formerly the OPDO). In concrete terms, this has led to an ongoing ethnic cleansing, the internal displacement of 3 million Ethiopians, the killing of hundreds of Amharas by regime sponsored Oromo militias and security forces (in Gondar,Gojjam-Bahr Dar,Northern Shoa,etc…), the use of the previously condemned law against terror to stifle dissent, jail journalists and to create an overall situation of ethnic strife and insecurity.

Power rests exclusively in the hands of the Oromo party in power and the appointment of women as ministers has remained just a shoddy window dressing. The so called peace deal with Eritrea was political move dictated by Saudi Arabia, the USA and the UAE and has already proved very flawed and beneficial to the dictatorial regime in Asmara. In general, the human rights violations of the Abiy regime is greeting as worse as before and it is no secret that Lt. Colonel Abiy himself was a leading member of the Meles Zenawi and Tigrean regime for the last 27 years. He has preserved and continued with the evil practices of that regime and all claims of Abiy being a reformist have worn thin and become false.

The Chatham House can get supplementary information from local and international human rights bodies and sift through the nauseating propaganda and conclude that Abiy is an ethnic chauvinist dictator worthy of condemnation. Tony Blair backed dictator Meles Zenawi and became complicit with a dictator. We would like to call upon you not to repeat that mistake.

Withdraw Abiy Ahmed from your nominee list and deny him any prize. Stand with the Ethiopian people and the rule of law and not with dictators that trample on their rights.

Thanking you in advance.


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