Ethiopia: Statement by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on the situation of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region (13.07.2021)

UNHCR calls on all parties and actors to not only comply with their international legal obligations.

GENEVA, Switzerland, July 13, 2021 – I am extremely concerned about the conditions of Eritrean refugees in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Since the outbreak of hostilities in November 2020, they have been deeply affected by the violence and insecurity that has engulfed the region. They have been caught up between warring groups, two refugee camps have been completely destroyed, and tens of thousands of Eritrean refugees were forced to flee – yet again – for their lives. We have received credible and corroborated reports of reprisal attacks, abductions, arrests, and violence meted out against Eritrean refugees for their perceived affiliation with one side or the other throughout this bloody conflict.

I have been disturbed by general criminality against refugees committed, mainly at night, by various armed actors in the Mai Aini and Adi Harush refugee camps. In the past weeks, hundreds of Eritreans have been arrested in Shire. We have sought clarity from the authorities in Mekelle and have requested access to and the immediate release of any unlawfully detained refugees and asylum seekers. We have also heard reports of other very serious allegations of violence against Eritrean refugees and have called on both the Federal Government and the Tigray Regional Government to launch formal investigations into all credible allegations.

The violence and intimidation of Eritrean refugees must stop. Refugees are civilians in need of and with the right to international protection. UNHCR calls on all parties and actors to not only comply with their international legal obligations, including the protection of civilians but also to stop using and manipulating refugees to score political points.

Our collective focus must instead be on ensuring their protection – including from violence, arrest, and abduction – and stepping up assistance to them. This means urgently constructing a safe new camp for Eritrean refugees who were previously living in the now destroyed Shimelba and Hitsats camps. It means being able to access fuel and cash to run our operations to assist refugees and the two million other displaced people in the Tigray region. It means restoring essential banking services, as well as electricity and communications networks, which are – along with security – essential to ramp up the humanitarian response. And it means opening the airports in Shire and Mekelle, as well as all land routes into Tigray from neighboring regions of Ethiopia so that humanitarians can get more help into the hands of those in need – Eritrean refugees and all other impacted civilians in Tigray.

UNHCR is scaling up its response both in the delivery of relief materials and in the deployment of more senior personnel. But protecting civilians, including Eritrean refugees, and greater efforts to facilitate the humanitarian relief effort are urgently needed by all parties.

Opinon: Abiy hopes donor aid can cover his deficit of $1.5 billion dollars

The federal government plans to get 66.8 billion Br (1.5 billion dollars at the current exchange rate) in foreign aid to finance its budget deficit for the fiscal year, projected to reach 144 billion Br. This is amidst backlash from the western world over the war in Tigray and the subsequent humanitarian crisis in northern Ethiopia. Parliament has passed the budget bill, unanimously, comprising 561 billion Br for the 2021/22 fiscal year, which began last week” (Addis Fortune – ‘Ethiopia Hopes for $1.5b in Foreign Aid to Finance Looming Budget Deficit’ 12.07.2021).

The Prosperity Party and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali after the failure of his policies, government actions and his inability to get positive feedback from the Western powers. Are now seeking to get $1.5 Billion U.S. Dollars in this budget year.

This is happening after the European Union come with another unfavourable resolutions. The EU has already seized aid or suspended to pay for certain programs. That has happen as a result of the warfare, which has been vicious since early November 2020. This has undercut the ideals of the donors and who they want to support.

That’s why it’s really risky of Finfinne or the Prosperity Party to seek for that amount of money. Unless, they are willing to loan from dubious sources and take out loans it cannot carry. Since, the United States and EU isn’t doling away funds for nothing. This is why the Addis Ababa government needs to redefine its goals or what they want to achieve.

Prime Minister Abiy have clearly lost his momentum and destroyed his good name. The whole “reformist” agenda isn’t for sale anymore. Neither is the belief that he will do any good. When he has done what he could destroy the Tigray region. Neither has he opened up the political space or given the media more freedom. As journalists are arrested and media houses are closed. Opposition parties are blocked from the polls and their leaders are behind bars on “political motivated” charges.

That’s why it’s really rich and naive to think that this man and his party will deliver the goods. The EU and US is in the rights to spend the taxpayers money elsewhere. Since, this government could easily spend the deficit to boost the army again and pay mercenaries to target Tigray even more.

Abiy clearly didn’t plan ahead, but went all in thinking he would be supreme. That he had consolidated all power and gotten a better relations with Asmara. Now, his in the same veins as Afewerki. These are not positive role models or showing the opportunities of the Horn of Africa.

The Prosperity Party hopes the foreign powers will bail them out. They hope someone will come and give them money without any strings. The sovereign who needed Eritrea to kill their own. Is now wondering why certain donors doesn’t want give them funds anymore. That all makes sense.

Not everyone is favours of Warlords and the ones who might kill their own to get more political power. That is not the sort of leader and sort of system that creates stability. That only creates more conflict and it could easily spiral out of control. This is why the Addis Ababa government is sanctioned and isn’t in good favours with plenty.

The bullets, the ammo and the use of force has cost. Not only has it depleted and destroyed the reputation of Abiy. It has also shown the true colours of it and that’s why they are not willing to invest in it. The current leadership needs to evaluate itself and maybe the PP needs to rethink its strategy. Since the Prime Minister and all his Yes-Men will not get monetary support for self-destruction. Even if that seems to be a deal Abiy takes every day of the week. Peace.

Ethiopia: Ministry of Foreign Affairs – On the untimely adoption of a politically motivated resolution by the EU on the situation of human rights in Tigray (13.07.2021)

Ethiopia: The Global Society of Tigray Scholars (GSTS) – Open Letter – Altering Massive Ethnic Profiling, Abduction, Abitrary Detention, Harassment and Extrajudicial Killing of Tigrayans living outside of Tigray (10.07.2021)

Ethiopia: Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) – Detention of Ethio-Forum and Awlo Media Journalists and Staff should follow due process, detainees should be released immediately if Court Order not Produced (11.07.2021)

Opinion: Abiy wins a landslide in the predetermined polls

It would have been shocking and equate to a disaster if Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali would have lost the recently held elections. In all numbers and polls his Prosperity Party have won a significant majority. The rest is allies and favourable “opposition parties” which are in the good graces getting a small mandate. Therefore, this a practical “one-party” election with a few selected “opposition” leaders to contest with.

The election in itself is a disgrace. There was maybe peace in some regions and was long lines of waiting people. However, the real opposition was either barred, banned or detained by the authorities. That’s not only in Tigray region, but also in others. Where opposition parties haven’t been able to run or allowed to run. Because, the state has blocked the Oromo, Ogaden and Tigray parties from participating.

We know that the Prosperity Party wouldn’t have won the Oromia seats or the representation. As the ones who are in favours of the people is behind bars. The same with others as well. It is just proven and the state isn’t even trying to make it look legit.

The results are just proving it. This is to legitimize the ‘Medemer Terror’ and the oppressive means of the regime. This election isn’t to get the ones the public wants, but who Abiy have selected. They are now in total power and continues his reign.

The ones who believes these results are naive. As Balderas, Oromo Federalist Congress, Oromo Liberation Front, Ogaden National Liberation Front, Afar Liberation Front Party and others are targeted, silenced and detained. So that they couldn’t participate in this election. That’s because the PM and PP couldn’t have run against them and actually win.

That’s why today’s announcement is just a fraud and a “fake”. It is just a (s)election and not free. It isn’t just technical issues of sort. There was a predetermination and done to ensure it. The Prime Minister and everyone can scream “victory”. But there was nothing under the sun that would make it possible for him to lose. There was no way he could have lost and neither his party.

So, the proclamation today and announced “victory” have been anticipated. That’s because the state have prepared for this and done everything to make it happened. The ones who thinks otherwise. Can check the amount of political prisoners. How many journalists who has been targeted and also all the parties who haven’t been able to participate. If you look at all of this. Than you know the PM and PP have done this all deliberately.

We can just ensure the world of a more lies, deceptions and possible bloodshed. The PM can lie about everything and spin for his own personal gain. The same does his party and his government. That will only be legitimized by this and he will feel more confident in the term ahead. Now, he isn’t just selected by a chosen few, but was (s)elected.

He will sing psalms and be giddy. The same will the whole PP and they will call it the best election ever. However, if it was so great?

Why didn’t his main challenger get an opportunity to be on the ballot or the parties ability to run against PP?

Well, that’s because the PM and PP wouldn’t risk a possibility to loose or even be humiliated in some regions. That’s why they barred them and made it impossible for them to run. That’s why it’s easy to say this isn’t “free or fair” even credible elections. Peace.

Ethiopia: Ethiopian Catholic Church-Socia and Development Commission Adigrat Branch – Updating statement on current situation of Tigray (05.07.2021)

Ethiopia: FAO – Emergency livelihood support for conflict-affected communities in Ethiopia’s Tigray region (07.07.2021)

As of June 2021, about 5.5 million people in Tigray and neighbouring Afar and Amhara are in high acute food insecurity.

ROME, Italy, July 7, 2021 – The ongoing conflict in Tigray has led to a humanitarian crisis characterized by alarmingly high levels of food insecuritygender-based violence, widespread displacement, limited access to services, and the destruction of the local economy.

The conflict commenced at the peak of the main agricultural season (Meher) harvest period when many households had not yet harvested their crops. It is estimated that over 90 percent of the crop harvest was lost (looted, burned and/or destroyed), while 15 percent of the region’s 17 million livestock were reported looted or slaughtered. Given that the majority of Tigrayans depend on subsistence agriculture (80 percent rely on agriculture as their main source of food and livelihood), the loss of their harvest and production inputs has severely impacted their food security and nutrition.

As of June 2021, about 5.5 million people in Tigray and neighbouring Afar and Amhara are in high acute food insecurity, representing nearly 61 percent of the analyzed population. A total of 353 000 people are in Catastrophe level of acute food insecurity (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification [IPC] Phase 5) in Tigray alone, the highest numbers recorded in the last decade. There are approximately 2.1 million people in Phase 4 (Emergency) and 3.1 million in Phase 3 (Crisis), a large number of whom, if supported with agricultural inputs, would avoid falling into IPC Phase 5 and destitution.

Nearly 93 percent of the population in northern Ethiopia requires emergency assistance (more than 5.5 million people). After failing to harvest in 2020, the consequences of missing the 2021 season may be dire, as most households depend on their own production for food and income. If support is not provided immediately, the next harvest will be in 18 months. This scenario has far-reaching food security and nutrition consequences.

Prior to the conflict, the food system (production, transportation, processing, packaging, storage, retail, consumption, loss and waste) fed and supported the livelihoods of a vast majority of Tigray’s population. Even though households in Tigray were repeatedly exposed to multiple shocks, such as drought, desert locust infestations and the recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, most of them were able to cope, as demonstrated by the results of various food security assessments.

Thanks to a contribution of USD 500 000 from the Government of Belgium through SFERA, FAO is implementing a project that will directly benefit 11 000 households (55 000 people). Beneficiaries will be provided with assorted agricultural inputs (short-cycle/drought-tolerant seeds including onion, teff and tomato) and trainings on good agronomic practices. Additionally, the project will support coordination efforts at the regional level to improve the collection and dissemination of information on agricultural interventions by Disaster Risk Management – Agriculture Task Force partners to enhance their planning and targeting.

The project will be implemented in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, including government, United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

Ethiopia: Prime Minster Abiy slaughtered a cow and only got a chicken in return …

We won’t sacrifice a healthy cow to save a sick chicken” – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali (05.07.2021).

Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed Ali have today addressed the House of Federation. Where he tries to defend the war he waged in Tigray. We can really see that there is no heart for the Tigrayan and neither for the general public. War is a righteous thing and it is very proven. This is a warlord and he will easily wage another when the stars are aligned for it. He had to leave most part of Tigray region, because the Tigray Defence Force was winning battle after battle. That’s why they have thousands of Prisoners of War (PoW).

Just like not long ago… the PM said he didn’t go to Tigray to liberate it. However, in the past he said he would conquer it in a few weeks and destroy Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) from the surface of the earth. That’s why Eritrean Shabait have called it “defunct” for months. While it was retaking its lands and stopping the Tripartite Alliance.

Here is his heart on display:

Bank, water, electricity are luxuries in Ethiopia. So don’t bother us if the service is not available in certain area. There was no such service before, so why now? The current situation is a lesson to the rest of us that it is impossible to burn others while enjoying the heat of the fire” (Abiy, 05.07.2021).

How can this man promise reforms and say his going to elevate the Republic when he says these things are luxuries? Having banking services shouldn’t be this hard… and neither water, which is necessities. It just shows that his proud of blocking the utilities, communication and total blockage of Tigray is fine with him. Neither does he value any other Ethiopian to have this either. It is a luxury for only the likes of him and his closest allies. The rest should bow to his grace and accept your fate. That you are blocked from banking, water, electricity or anything because of race. Thanks the almighty deity Abiy for those doling gifts of governance from the Masters of Peace.

As he continues:

Every Tigrayan mother will weight what this war has brought on her. The mothers know the damage this conflict brought upon them” (Abiy, 05.07.2021).

Just like the Tripartite Alliance saw everyone as an enemy in Mekelle. Now, the Prime Minister is blaming every mother for the suffering put on the region. That is projection of the finest art. Because sons and daughters are fighting a war waged on them. Because, the Federal Government couldn’t accept another type of leadership and a party who didn’t follow the epic commander of Abiy. That’s why the mothers of Tigray now deserves the pain they are living through. It really shows the greatness of Abiy and how much he cares of the pain he puts on others with his orders!

He promotes more war in the future:

In one, two or three weeks, 100,000 trained, armed and organised special forces can be mobilised. If said special force isn’t enough, if a militia is needed, in one or two months half a million militiamen can be organised. One million youths can be mobilised and trained” (Abiy, 05.07.2021).

Now he says he will raise new armies to wage more war. Surely because he lost this one and had to flee from parts of the Tigray region. As we speak there is still Amhara Special Force and Fano fighting the TDF in Western Tigray where the Amhara state annexed land. Therefore, the conflict is not over. Just like the ceasefire isn’t official, as the state is blocking everything and we know the PM is proud of that. Because, drinking water and accessing your wages in banks is a luxury. Remember that from now on.

His ill-advised mind says this:

In my view, those interested in seeing the conclusion of the conflict in the Tigray region are very few. It seems there are interests that seek to see the weakening of the Ethiopian state through a protracted conflict” (Abiy, 05.07.2021).

It is tragic that he says that. His the one that waged the war and ordered it. It was his government and allies who was prepared all across the borders of Tigray. Who had airlifted soldiers into Eritrea to attack from two sides. The Prime Minister promised to finish it off in weeks and was saying it was in the finalization of the Law Enforcement Operation in the end of November 2020. The conflict continued to the end of June 2021. However, we still know the state is deliberately weakening and blocking necessities… which shows they are not done yet, but put vital warfare on hold. They were the ones that kept it going and was undressed by the TDF during the last few weeks. Which destroyed and annihilated the Tripartite Alliance… and therefore they fled.

The final nonsense:

As a sovereign nation, we have tolerated a lot. Without government recognition armed forces were being organized, conflict entrepreneurs and propagandists were deployed throughout the country. The people of Tigray were told that they were at risk of war. Elders, investors, politicians, locals and investors were sent to mediate. Ultimately, the Northern Command was attacked. We were forced to set out to defend the country and return looted national resources and weapons” (Abiy, 05.07.2021).

He is really something else. A guy who puts the blame on others and had the war planned together with his allies. They had surrounded the region before the attack of the Northern Command. The PM and his allies has used that as a scapegoat. While not taking into coordination or the cooperation , which was signalling to the TDF that their time was up anyway. The state had already blocked government funding, blocked aid to the region and other measures in the months ahead. Not, like the HOF and the PM was in favour of Tigray anyway.

So to speak of propagandists… his own people should talk and maybe not slaughter a cow to buy a chicken. Which the state have done in this favour. They have destroyed and created a man-made famine over a constitutional dispute and a futile will to consolidate all power under one banner. Which was the idea in the first place. The PM couldn’t handle to have someone who wouldn’t listen and follow his command without question. That’s why he waged war and called upon anyone who could support this effort. While using the legitimacy of the central administration and usher in a bloodshed in Tigray.

This is tragic but with statements like these. We know the Prosperity Party and the PM is not done with the region. This ceasefire is to retool and restructure to assault it again. When they hopefully can end the TPLF for their defiant moves of defying the naked king of Finfinne aka Addis Ababa.

Today’s address in the House of Federation wasn’t a victory lap, but shows his sentiments yet again. He never valued Tigray and its people. He just wanted to settle old scores and become supreme. There is no golden goose or a positive silver lining. That is far from it. Even if his allies and propagandists actually says so. Peace.

Ethiopia: The Government of Tigray – Conditions for a negotiated Ceasefire (04.07.2021)

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