Official Correspondence GSTS-O.C-2021-042
The Global Society of Tigray Scholars
and Professionals (GSTS)
To: The People and Government of the Republic of The Sudan
From: Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals
The Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals (GSTS), would like to express our deepest gratitude to the people and government of the Republic of the Sudan for their boundless generosity and fraternal solidarity as fellow human beings with the people of Tigray.
November 4th of 2020 was a dark day for the people of Tigray when a brutal war was declared against them by the combined forces of their Ethiopian government, Eritrean military and the Amhara regional forces and militia. This war, cynically referred to as ‘law and order operation’ by the Ethiopian government, has all the hallmarks of a genocidal war – an attack that has its indiscriminate extermination and brutal sights on ordinary civilians in Tigray, their lives, livelihoods, land, culture, heritage and history.
Many have been forced to flee from their homes, and almost instinctively made their way to the Sudan. With open arms and no qualms, Sudan and its generous people have taken in over 63,000 Tigrayans since November 2020. Of course, Tigrayans have been here before and survived by escaping previous attempts to annihilate them. Sudan was always there for the rescue as their second home.
“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in” once wrote Robert Frost. Does this not fully describe Tigrayans’ relationship with Sudan? Perhaps in modern recent history no story has repeated itself so tragically than the fleeing of people into Sudan from Tigray and the unparalleled generosity extended by Sudanese people and government. It’s worth recalling some of these. First, during the 1970s when young students from Tigray and Ethiopia left in large numbers to escape political violence led by the government. Then in 1984/1985 during the Ethiopian famine, with Mengistu Hailemariam’s brutal military regime (Derg) blocking aid to Tigray. The then rebel group, Eritrean People Liberation Front (EPLF) joined the Derg obstructing direct road access. Hundreds of thousands of Tigrayans walked the long road to Sudan where they were welcomed with dignity and received life-saving support.
Once again EPLF, now at the helm of Eritrean government, repeats its heinous act and is the main force committing barbaric atrocities including blocking Tigrayans seeking protection in Sudan.
More recently in 2018, thousands of forcefully displaced people of Tigray origin from the surroundings of Metema, Gondar and other parts of the Amhara region received generous assistance in Sudan.
Consistently and persistently, while the blockage of food access and prevention of people from seeking safe haven have been old age tactics of war in Ethiopia, Sudan has always provided warm hospitality and tremendous generosity for those in need. This is neighbourliness, brotherhood and more importantly humanity at its best. Could there be a more sane and sober presence in the much-troubled Horn of Africa, other than Sudan? For Tigrayans, Sudan has meant the difference between life and death. Repeatedly, as conflict prone Tigray was engulfed in wars, Tigrayans have fled to home, to Sudan. Could there have been a more dependable and kind neighbour, under whom Tigrayans caught their breath?
“My religion is love; wherever its caravan turns along the way, that is my belief, my faith” wrote Ibn Al-Arabi. Surely, Ibn-al-Arabi had the Sudanese in mind when he wrote this verse. For Tigrayans, exile is the caravan of pain whose thorny edges were rendered almost harmless by the Sudan’s religion of love. To be amongst friends of love- Is this not one of the greatest blessing and fortune for Tigrayans?
Our dear Sudanese sisters and brothers, you can be proud. You are the heroic example of humanity’s solidarity and universality in the face of the vile spirit of those who have done much harm to our people. When the olive tree of peace is in flower in Tigray, we vow to build with you an even stronger bond and cooperation. It is our sincere hope and belief that Sudan and its people will continue to be the beacon of hope, hospitality, generosity and solidarity in our region.
Please always count on the unwavering friendship of the people of Tigray and the support of the Tigray scholars and professionals globally.
We, all say, thank you Sudan!
 GSTS is a 501(C), and 33/2011 legally registered non-partisan, not-for-profit, and autonomous Global Knowledge Network of over 3,000 Tigray Scholars and Professionals aimed at creating Knowledge-based economy and society in Tigray, and beyond. It stands for academia, multidisciplinary and cross sectoral research and applied policy development, human capital development, fostering and advancing science, technology, and innovation, technology and knowledge transfer, youth and gender development, migration and displacement, and other educational and development related endeavors. It also works in educational advocacy and collaborates with various stakeholders towards promoting peace, good governance, human rights, and humanitarian activities.