“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.
“One of the reasons the African Heads of State decided to host this year’s AU summit in Addis Ababa was that they have come to see that Ethiopia is not like what others talk about. Ethiopia is hosting thousands of its Diaspora who are enjoying their vacation peacefully and prisoners are being released. This gesture brought forth the image that this country has a hope. This was image we created which led Addis Ababa to host the AU summit. It was a difficult trial for us” – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali (17.01.2022).
When the Federal Government released some political prisoners earlier this month. They have only done it with one intention and not remedy any stances or buy peace. No, the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali with his own words are saying the quiet part loud, which is very clear here. It is not for national dialogue … or for reforms, but for posture… and that is a tragic take, but it is what the PM is stating here.
As image goes… he continued with a lot more in the speech, which shows his real stance and not the deliberate use of the political prisoners for the benefit of dialogue or for making things better in the conflict. Therefore, what his saying further is very interesting…
“No government body asked me to arrest these men in the first place and no government body had asked me to release them. I am telling you the truth. This is not something related with outsiders. However, with regards to prisoners in general, we had multiple discussions” (…) “let me tell you one example. When the enemy [TPLF] reached Debre Sina few of our officials suggested the idea of releasing prisoners for fear that TPLF would release them if it captures Addis Ababa. We rejected the suggestion. We will ensure TPLF would not enter Addis Ababa. Even if it enters, let the TPLF release them but we will not release them now and allow the humiliation of Ethiopia” (…) “I want you to understand that this is something that has been going on for some time. We also discussed this issue during the Prosperity Party Executive Committee meeting a month before their release. We agreed that the way to defeat an enemy is not just by attacking but also through a gesture of goodwill. We decided to continue the discussion down our ranks. I also remember in Addis Ababa the discussion held with religious leaders, businesspeople and the scholars. Every regional state has discussed this issue. It is not acceptable to say the decision is a surprise. We have discussed this for more than a month” (…) “In all honesty, we wanted to achieve a political objective by releasing prisoners but we did not discuss specific individuals. I had no idea who was going to be released even when we had the meeting with the Federal Ministers [Jan 06]. The Attorney General said it has decided to release them after it conducted its own studies” (Abiy, 17.01.2022).
It is all part of ploy and clearly the leaders has been selected by the state. Which they knew could create headlines and sell “hope”. They wouldn’t pick random activists or political prisoners of low-level tier in the banned or opposition parties, which has been blocked or not been able to operate by the Federal Government.
What is striking in the same speech, he says it’s released to give a spirit of hope and to get outsiders to participate in the African Union Head of State in Addis Ababa this year. That is having influence of outsiders. To make it look all good, but he later says it wasn’t related to outsiders… that doesn’t add up… and the PM cannot have it both ways. He can either do one or the other… but not both. That isn’t working. One is a lie and the other is the truth. The matter of how proud he is of having AU Heads of State Summit. Makes it believe to be the thing, as we know the PM likes to bash in glory and be the centre of attention.
We are further seeing no concessions or plans to concede to their enemies or parties of the conflict. That is very obvious here, as we know the state have ceased direct combats, but is still using drones and affiliate armies to fight for them. Therefore, the conflict or warfare isn’t over. Neither in the Tigray or in Oromia. Therefore, the PM is false-flagging … and his continuing to kill civilians to win points with his allies.
The political objective was to sell a “false hope” and promise of better future, but that is just an image or a publicity stunt. As there is nothing else to gain but an international conference in the capital. Because, the PM wants to be the big-man and have all the flashing lights. There is no usage of them political prisoners as a bargain chip for AU. That is really it and it’s tragic…
So, the ones that has believes in the Commission and the National Dialogue is foolish. When the PM is stating it this obviously for the whole world to see and I wonder why it doesn’t face backlash. As this is speaking out loudly and arrogantly about the recent events. Mohammed Jawar and Bekele Gerba are just tools for the small objective pieces of silver, which is all the PM sought for. Peace.
The ICRC is profoundly concerned over availability of medical treatment, including medicine and medical equipment.
MOPTI, Mali, January 18, 2022 – As the conflict in northern Ethiopia continues to evolve, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced, putting enormous strain on the region’s health-care system and medical staff.
The ICRC is profoundly concerned over availability of medical treatment, including medicine and medical equipment. Health-care services are lacking essential medical supplies, and in some cases infrastructure has been severely damaged. This makes access to health care very challenging, depriving people of the essentials they need to survive.
The ICRC is adapting its assistance efforts with a focus on the most vulnerable. However, our capacity to respond has become limited as medical supplies dwindle, with delivery of humanitarian assistance seriously hampered by a combination of fighting, insecurity and access constraints.
“Some hospitals in Amhara have closed due to lack of medicines,” said Micha Wedekind, who is in charge of the ICRC’s response in Amhara and Afar. “People with chronic diseases are dying every day and women are giving birth at home as health facilities are not functional and often without electricity or water.”
“In Tigray, single-use items such as gloves, surgical materials and even chest drains are being washed and reused, increasing the risk of infections. In some places, doctors have replaced disinfectant by salt to clean wounds,” said Apollo Barasa, the health coordinator at the ICRC delegation in Ethiopia. “Patients are receiving expired medications, oxygen plants are not working anymore, and some health facilities cannot provide routine vaccines.
The ICRC reminds all parties to the conflict that they must facilitate without delay the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those who need it most.
Our medical support this month has included to seven health care facilities around Dessie, including Hayk, Mersa, Woldiya and Kobo. Throughout 2021, together with the Ethiopian Red Cross Society, the ICRC supported 130 health facilities in Amhara, Afar, Tigray, Oromia and Somali region. More than 110,000 people have benefited from our medical programs and 9,800 persons received physiotherapy and mobility treatment.
Beyond medical assistance, the ICRC continues to be concerned over the food and livelihood situation in northern Ethiopia. Last week our teams were able to bring humanitarian assistance to communities in Lalibela, Amhara, for the first time in six months, providing 2,500 people with food and 6,000 people with household items such as mattresses, jerrycans, kitchen sets and solar lamps. In Mekelle, the ICRC has distributed essential household and hygiene items to more than 900 displaced people.
Finally, whilst maintaining our operations in the area, the ICRC is deeply concerned by recent reports of continued fighting in northern Ethiopia causing civilian casualties, including in recent airstrikes.
We call upon all parties to the conflict to respect the rules and obligation of international humanitarian law, which provide that civilians are protected against attack and that everything feasible must be done to verify that targets are military objectives. To the extent feasible, civilians must also be removed from the vicinity of military objectives.
In 2021, the ICRC has:
– Assisted 655,000 people with household supplies, shelter and cash throughout the country, with a focus on northern Ethiopia
– Provided 875,000 people with agricultural and livestock assistance
– Facilitated access to clean water and sanitations to 1,950,000 people, including in places of detention
– Helped over 169,000 people restore or maintain family links, facilitating exchange of news by family members.