A response to the press release issued by the US, state department on February 27, 2021 Dr. Haymanot Assefa Nadew, Maryland, USA

“A ruler owes his people the duty of protection, thus wars of selfdefense are morally permissible. “ Saint Augustine

Dr. Haymanot Assefa Nadew,

All human life is equal, no life should be lost. Just war theory postulates that war, while terrible (but less so with the right conduct), is not always the worst option. important responsibilities, undesirable outcomes, or preventable atrocities may justify war. A 2017 study found that the just war tradition can be traced as far back as to Ancient Egypt, demonstrating that just war thought developed beyond the boundaries of Europe and existed many centuries earlier than the advent of
Christianity or even the emergence of Greco-Roman doctrine.

World history is littered with wars. Encyclopedia Britannica lists more than 140 major wars from 1300 B.C through 2012 A.D. Throughout history our ancestors justified these wars. Nationalistic, religious, economic, political, geopolitical, social, ethnic, moral or other reasons precipitated wars and society justified them all. All these wars had casualties. Substantial resources are lost.

Wars are inherently destructive and cause loss of human life. To mention few examples, in world war I (1914-1918) we lost 16,000,000 -40,000,000 human lives, the Russian Civil War (1917- 1922) claimed 5,000,000-9,000,000 humans, in the Chinese civil war (1927-1949) 8,000,000 – 11,692,000 people died, World war II (1939-1945) devastated 56,125,000-85,000,000 lives, in the Korean war (1950-1953) 1,500,000-4,500,000 lives were lost, the Vietnam war (1955-1975) took 2,400,000-4,300,000 lives and the war on Terror(2001-present) claimed 272,000-1,260,000+lives. We ask, were all these wars justifiable? History judges us all.

The American Civil War (1861-1865) fought between northern states loyal to the Union and southern states, remains the deadliest military conflict in American history, and accounted for more American military deaths than all other wars combined until the Vietnam War. Intense combat during The American Civil War, left between 620,000 and 750,000 soldiers dead, along with an undetermined number of civilians.

The world order today drills in us that certain actions such as wars are justifiable when waged by the powerful and the rich. When poorer nations wage wars to defend themselves, their people and safeguard their national sovereignty, the western media machine and powerful nations denounce such actions as abhorrent. I am pacifist at heart. However, history reminds us that one sided pacifistic beliefs and actions do not suffice.

It takes two to tango! The right to a fair trial conducted by an impartial judge is a fundamental component of the American system of justice. It pains me to see my government (US government) pass judgments as to the conduct of the war in the Tigray region in Ethiopia and what happened without having all the facts. I believe that both the defendant and accuser should be conferred an opportunity to present their case, furnish evidences, call up on witnesses and both sides awarded a fair rebuttal chance.

We cannot have double standards. The United States being the undisputed ruler of the whole big world has a moral, historical, political and ethical obligation to reserve judgment until all evidence is presented, through investigation is conducted and both sides are awarded a chance to fair and impartial trial.

It is morally indefensible to persecute one side based on one sided allegation, phone interviews, refugee camp researches or hearsays. The powerful and the rich have moral duty and political expediency to be impartial arbitrators. I strongly believe and implore the US government to accord both sides a chance to fair trial

Atrocities in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

The United States is gravely concerned by reported atrocities and the overall deteriorating situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.  We strongly condemn the killings, forced removals and displacements, sexual assaults, and other extremely serious human rights violations and abuses by several parties that multiple organizations have reported in Tigray.  We are also deeply concerned by the worsening humanitarian crisis.  The United States has repeatedly engaged the Ethiopian government on the importance of ending the violence, ensuring unhindered humanitarian access to Tigray, and allowing a full, independent, international investigation into all reports of human rights violations, abuses, and atrocities.  Those responsible for them must be held accountable.

The United States acknowledges the February 26 statements from the Ethiopian Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs promising unhindered humanitarian access, welcoming international support for investigations into human rights violations and abuses, and committing to full accountability.  The international community needs to work collectively to ensure that these commitments are realized.

The immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces and Amhara regional forces from Tigray are essential first steps.  They should be accompanied by unilateral declarations of cessation of hostilities by all parties to the conflict and a commitment to permit unhindered delivery of assistance to those in Tigray.  The United States is committed to working with the international community to achieve these goals.  To that end, USAID will deploy a Disaster Assistance Response Team to Ethiopia to continue delivering life-saving assistance.

We ask international partners, especially the African Union and regional partners, to work with us to address the crisis in Tigray, including through action at the UN and other relevant bodies.

The United States remains committed to building an enduring partnership with the Ethiopian people.

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