Ethiopia: The UNDP shows how partisan they are in a internal memo

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) wrote a Memorandum on the Tigray Region in Ethiopia on the 16th February 2021. The “Note to the Secretary General” meaning the UNDP wrote this to Antonio Guterres and for his eyes only.

The UNDP’s mission is this: “On the ground in about 170 countries and territories, UNDP works to eradicate poverty while protecting the planet. We help countries develop strong policies, skills, partnerships and institutions so they can sustain their progress” (UNDP – About Us).

The UNDP mission is clear, still one of the first piece of the memo says this: “A 3 month running conflict has morphed from outright war to protracted low intensity conflict with evident regional dimensions” (UNDP. 2021). With this sort of narrative, it could have been straight lip-service from Addis Ababa. They are trading in the belief of a “low scale” conflict now. As the war is still ravaging on its fourth month and counting. It is really bizarre to read this from the UNDP.

What is also very concerning is when the UNDP memo says this: “Everything within the UN rule book tells us it is a moment to engage with the government and people of Ethiopia. It is an opportunity to put the humanitarian, development and peace, nexus to action. To succeed with require a reassessment of the international community’s current hard talk and posture. What is needed now is to fast track construction of a national peace architecture, something Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has demonstrated willingness to pursue – in Tigray and entire Ethiopia” (UNDP, 2021).

It is really striking that the UNDP wants the world be softer and more cordial, as the own government is killing civilians, raping citizens and creating human rights violations on the daily. The UNDP is accepting the ills of the warfare in Ethiopia, as long as the Prime Minister “promises” to play ball. They are letting a warlord issue war and doesn’t want the aftermath of it. They see it as an opportunity, but don’t want the international community to react to the ramification of conflict. They are just supposed to believe that his still a man of peace and not who wages war. Which is apparently who he is, but not the “posture” that the world was made to “believe”.

The UNDP continues with this: “The posture of Ambassadors in Addis confirmed that the shift towards solutions – oriented engagement with government is yet to be made, as the focus remains on as reprimand, investigations of human rights violations with international participation (to be done before elections) and as a condition precedent to support for recovery. In a context like Ethiopia, this approach is likely to be counter-productive and will yield no results” (UNDP, 2021).

Everyone is just supposed to kiss the hand of the Prime Minister and not challenge his actions. They are just saying that people are not supposed to question the government. Not question the usage of war in Tigray, the political prisoners across the republic and use of force towards civilians. Therefore, being so mediocre towards the government who are causing atrocities. That is really shocking. This is not their mission and will only allow the Prime Minister continue with his warfare and assault on human rights without any punitive actions. That is if he will later care about this when they are trying to yield “results”. Are the UNDP so naive in 2021?

It is hard for me to believe that the UNDP would be like this. The UNDP lacking a spine and be a follower of the Prosperity Party and Prime Minister Abiy. That they are believing the whole narrative of the state and not even checking it. Not even checking the lies of the Prime Minister or his fellow peers. It is strange and the UNDP is clearly not following its own mission here. They are just serving the Government of Ethiopia without any concern with the truth.

The UNDP is clearly partisan and it’s tragic. They should be better, but we can apparently not expect that. They rather be soft and mediocre, then people with a spine and who has character who dares to question, keep them accountable and being transparent about the conflict. Instead, we are just supposed sing along to the bullets in Tigray. That is if you are following the advice of the UNDP Memo.

The UNDP rather be a buddy, then a development partner and a acting sincere. They are cosying up and being sweet with someone who orders murders. How that is “protecting the planet” and “sustaining their progress” is beyond me. Peace.

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