As Another “Never Again” Scenario Quickly Approaches in Tigray, the Biden Administration Must Hold Parties to Their Word

A day before the second anniversary of Ethiopia’s civil war (which started on Nov. 3, 2020), the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (GoE) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) signed a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA). Despite the agreement, intense fighting and aerial bombardments continue in several parts of Tigray.

Given the fates of previous agreements and unilateral declarations of truce, it remains to be seen if hostilities will indeed cease. In this conflict, the age-old maxim that the first casualty in war is the truth rings true. The unchecked repetition of lies has made it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. But sorting out the truth is still worthwhile, if only to provide a clear reference for all the political and humanitarian diplomats issuing statements of concern and calling for the cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access, and the withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Ethiopia.

On Oct. 17, 2022, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, referring to the war on Tigray by the combined Ethiopian, Amhara, and Eritrean forces, said that “the situation in Ethiopia is spiraling out of control.” Since the start of the deadly war on Tigray, the conflict has claimed more than half a million lives, left over 5.6 million Tigrayans starving, and displaced more than 2 million.

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