Ethiopia: A fresh OCHA Report states the continued blockade of humanitarian assistance to the Tigray region

Northern Ethiopia – Access Map of January 2022

The humanitarian preparedness and response operations in Northern Ethiopia continue to be significantly restricted by several factors, including conflict and bureaucratic impediments such as the inability to bring sufficient supplies, fuel, and cash to Tigray, the high number of people in need, limited access to people in hard-to-reach areas due to insecurity, limited presence of partners on the ground, especially in Afar, and lack of funding” (OCHA, 20.01.2022).

No surprise here after months upon end with little to no efforts from the state to patch the hurt or the damages done in the northern Ethiopia. This is deliberate actions of the Prime Minister and his Tripartite Alliance, as they are punishing a whole region and nearby areas in the conflict started in November 2020. The weaponized famine and starvation is clearly tabled by the authorities and their allies, as they are pinning all blame on the victims, as they are doing it.

The OCHA report of 20 January 2022 is as dark and grim as these has been. There is little to no movement and it isn’t becoming better. Just a few statements from the OCHA report shows the efforts and what is achieved by the state in this region. They are only allowing certain humanitarian assistance to get to Amhara and Afar regions, but not to reach the battle-torn Tigray region. Therefore, the “unity” of Ethiopia is half-assed or not a legit concern of those in power at this point. As it seems the rest of Ethiopia is their citizens, but the Tigray can suffer, because they have the ability to harm them as whole.

OCHA further states: “UNHAS continues to operate two flights per week between Addis Ababa and Mekelle in Tigray. No humanitarian workers were cleared to travel by road from Semera to Mekelle since 28 October. A limited amount of operational cash was transferred on UNHAS flights, but this remains below the amount of cash needed to support operations and programs and provide a meaningful response at the required scale. The limit of ETB 2 million per agency per week remains in effect. Between 6-12 January, about 10,500 people were reached with food assistance in Adet and Naeder woredas in Tigray under the current food distribution cycle. Cumulatively, partners have assisted about 495,000 people in Tigray in the last three months (from mid-October-12 January) under the current round, whereas 870,000 people need to be reached every week so that the 5.2 million people targeted receive food during the six weeks food distribution cycle” (OCHA, 20.01.2022).

It also states: “The transport of humanitarian supplies into Tigray, via the Semera-Abala-Mekelle corridor, remain on halt since 14 December due to the ongoing fighting in Abala. Meanwhile, 68 trucks of humanitarian supplies are in the dry port in Semera waiting to proceed to Mekelle. This includes more than 2,400 metric tons (MT) of food, nutrition, WASH, NFI, health, and protection items such as dignity kits for women and adolescent girls. Trucks are offloaded in the warehouse in Semera until convoys’ movement resumes. Overall, 1,338 trucks have entered the region since 12 July, which represents less than 10 per cent of the required supplies needed to meet the vast scale of humanitarian needs of 5.2 million people, or 90 per cent of the population in Tigray. Four tankers carrying more than 155,000 liters of fuel are also awaiting approvals in Semera. No fuel for humanitarian operations has been allowed into Tigray since 2 August, except for two WFP trucks. As partners are unable to receive sufficient fuel loans locally, they have no choice but to reduce, postpone or cancel critical distributions such as food, medicine, and nutrition interventions. Consequently, the scale of food distributions has reached an all-time low in Tigray as food stocks and fuel have almost been entirely exhausted. Food assistance partners are facing severe fuel shortages with less than 5,000 litres of fuel (excluding contingency stock) available as of 18 January. Partners who had been forced to suspend dispatch more than a month ago were only able to resume on 15 January with some limited amount of fuel they received locally. Other partners have suspended food dispatch as their transporters could no longer access fuel locally. As of 18 January, partners reported around 1,200 MT of food commodities available within Tigray, out of which, there is only enough stock to feed around 28,400 people with a complete three-commodity common food basket for one round. WFP reported that stocks of nutritionally fortified food for the treatment of malnourished children and women are now exhausted, while the last cereals, pulses and oil are distributed” (OCHA, 20.01.2022).

When you read those texts from OCHA and their reports. The efforts, the thwarted transports and the hurdles made by the state is very obvious. This is done in such a speed and lack of concern. That people are dying and the humanitarian assistance isn’t reaching. The levels of assistance and transports cannot even contain the bare minimum. That shows the sinister and brutal side of the Federal Government of Ethiopia. They want people to die and not feed the citizens of the Tigray region. This is the message it sends and this should be made war-crimes cases for. As innocent civilians in need dies, because of bureaucratic hurdles created by the Addis Ababa elite. That is the truth here and millions are pawns in a political gambit of one warlord and Prime Minister.

They are stopping people from eating and getting treatment… and that is done for months on end. This is an reaction to the besieged region and war-torn Tigray region, which is drone-and air-strikes on the daily too. The state is never giving it peace or ability to heal. They are not even letting petrol or any other basic commodities enter there too. We know the PM hates “wheat-aid” and he clearly wants to punish anyone who doesn’t have blind loyalty to him. That’s why his punishing the Tigray region…

That’s how I read this deliberate act of the state and it’s disgrace… it should be illegal and be internationally sanctioned to do this to the ones in need. There should be mechanisms, which not only charge, but punish leaders who does this out of spite and acts with such evil against own civilians. Peace.

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