Ethiopia: Statement by Acting Humanitarian Coordinator for Ethiopia, Grant Leaity, on the operational constraints and de facto humanitarian blockade of Tigray (02.09.2021)

An estimated 5.2 million people, or 90 percent of the population across the Tigray region, urgently need humanitarian assistance.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, September 2, 2021 – With the inability to bring in sufficient and sustained levels of humanitarian supplies, cash and fuel, the humanitarian situation in the North of Ethiopia is set to worsen dramatically, particularly in Tigray region.

An estimated 5.2 million people, or 90 percent of the population across the Tigray region, urgently need humanitarian assistance, including 400,000 people already facing famine-like conditions, to avert the world’s worst famine situation in decades. Millions are on the brink of going hungry, including 1.7 million people in the bordering areas of the Afar and Amhara regions. Young children, pregnant women, and new mothers also suffer alarmingly high levels of malnutrition, where UNICEF recently alerted that over 100,000 children in Tigray could suffer from lifethreatening severe acute malnutrition in the next 12 months – a tenfold increase compared to the average annual caseload.

While humanitarian access is now viable and overall secure inside most of Tigray, the region remains under a de facto humanitarian aid blockade, where access to bring life-saving humanitarian relief continues to be extremely restricted. There is only one road via Afar that humanitarian partners can use but logistical and bureaucratic impediments including long delays for clearance of humanitarian supplies render passage extremely difficult.

Stocks of relief aid, cash and fuel are running very low or are completely depleted. Food stocks already ran out on 20 August. A minimum of 100 trucks of food, non-food items, and fuel must enter Tigray every day to sustain an adequate response. To date, and since 12 July, only 335 trucks have entered the region – or about 9 percent of the required 3,900 trucks. Not one single truck has entered the Tigray region since 22 August. Currently there are 172 trucks stranded in Semera and substantial supplies are stockpiled in Djibouti, Adama and Kombolcha due to federal and regional administrative constraints.

To sustain humanitarian operations, about US$6.5 million, equivalent to 300 million birr in local currency, are needed every week, either through a functioning banking system or Government approval to transport cash. Since 12 July, only 88 million birr has been cleared or dispatched to Tigray, or 4.2 percent of what is needed. As per the procedures set by the Government of Ethiopia, partners can only carry a maximum of 2 million birr on the UN Humanitarian Air Service flight.

Only $20,000 of cash is currently available to partners in Tigray while $132.5 million is required till the end of the year.

While a minimum of 200,000 liters of fuel is required for humanitarian response every week only 282,000 liters (12 trucks) have reached Tigray since 12 July, and none since 16 August, about 28 percent of the amount needed since then. Delivery of health emergency kits for 2.3 million people, for example, is no longer feasible as supplies, cash and fuel are exhausted, while vaccination against measles, polio, and COVID-19 are unavailable, affecting over 1.5 million people.

Similarly, construction of sanitation facilities at displacement sites are not possible at all affecting more than 450,000 people.

In light of the insecurity in conflict-affected areas of Afar and Amhara, reaching people in need through Tigray may be the most practical approach, but would require additional supplies to enter to respond.

In accordance with international humanitarian law, all parties to the conflict must allow and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of impartial humanitarian relief to avert this looming catastrophe. They must also respect and protect all humanitarian personnel and assets. In particular, the Government of Ethiopia must allow and facilitate the unimpeded entry into the country, as well as movement within the country, of humanitarian relief personnel, supplies and equipment, including cash and fuel, whether over land, water or by air. This includes lifting bureaucratic impediments, expediting clearance of humanitarian supplies, and simplifying administrative procedures relating to relief operations.

The Government of Ethiopia is also urged – in accordance with its obligations under international human rights law – to restore essential services, including electricity, communications, and banking services, as well as the flow of essential commercial commodities into Tigray.

The lives of millions of civilians in Tigray and neighboring regions in Afar and Amhara depend on our capacity to reach them with food, nutrition supplies, medicine and other critical assistance.

We need to reach them immediately and without obstruction to avert famine and significant levels of mortality.

Ethiopia: Tigray External Affairs Office – Briefing from the National Government of Tigray (30.08.2021)

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Ethiopia: Oromia Liberation Front/Army (OLF-OLA) – High Command – Regarding the Situation in East Walaga (25.08.2021)

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Ethiopia: A Grand Armed Coalition formed to end Abiy’s ‘Medemer Terror’

We are clearly living in trying times, as every ethnicity is picking up arms and going to war for one simple goal to get rid of the current regime in Addis Ababa. There is now several of Liberation Fronts or Armies who are going in a coalition to combat and beat the current leadership. That says it all, when they all can fight together and work towards the same objective.

The Tigray conflict has spiralled out, but it is also opening up with more internal warfare. Where the civil war is inevitable. That is very clear with the motivation of arming civilians with machetes in Amhara region and sending them to battle under the banner of “Fano”. This just shows there is no end in sight and that’s what the Federal and Regional Government is doing. Not some rural rebels or hoodlums, no these are supported over the state and regional budgets. Either gifts or donations, which is put into the war-effort. That is the stage the current times are in.

So, when that is happening. The Tigray Defence Force (TDF) is not fighting the National Army and it’s allies. No, they have been aligned with several of other Liberations Fronts of late. It is a growing collective and it has even been called the Ethiopian Grand Armed Coalition.

The amounts of groups working together now against the Prosperity Party (PP) and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali is about 9. This is first the TDF. The others are Afar Liberation Army (ALA), Agew Peoples Liberation Front (APLF), Benishangul Peoples Liberation Front (BPLF), Oromo Liberation Front/Army (OLF/OLA), Ogaden Peoples Movement (OPM), Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF), Somalia Peoples Liberation Front (SPLF) and Qimant Peoples Liberation Front (QPLF).

When you see this list, you should be amazed, as the Prime Minister is seeking military hardware from Turkey. He is begging Asmara to help out with troops. The leaders of Finfinne is seeking all youth and everyone to enlist to a war, which isn’t trained to meet seasoned soldiers. That’s why just this week the TDF has destroyed much of the Republican Guard in the Amhara region. While the Eritrean Defence Force (EDF) is both re-entering in the Tigray region, but also participating in Afar Region. That’s why you know the new battlefronts will make things harder for the PP.

The axis of TDF-OLA was bad enough for the ENDF-EDF-Amhara alliance. Now, they are meeting forces and militias from all across the Republic. Who sole objective as a Grand Coalition is to bring down the current tyranny. That says it all really. The gamble of a sole war with a Tripartite Alliance, which was supposed to be ended in a flash and the PM promised final stages in the end of November 2020. Is now struggling to get head over water, as his enemies is encircling him and able to make bigger alliances.

The Ethiopian Grand Armed Coalition towards the Tripartite Alliance was surely not on the cards on the fire-sale of a “Law Enforcement Operation” of last year. When the Tigray seemed all shunned out and left alone, as it had been boycotted and blocked by the Federal Government months on end before the war was upon it. Therefore, at that point this didn’t seem likely.

However, the Tripartite Alliance has played out their cards and things are crumbling. That is why the Federal Government is targeting foreign donors and humanitarian organizations. As they are seemed as arming the enemies. While the Federal Government and Army is willing to do war-crimes, atrocities and blame these on it’s enemies. That’s how it sow more pain, but also more resilient will to overcome these hardships.

The gamble of a brief war has become a full civil-war. Where the Tripartite Alliance isn’t getting more friends, but instead more enemies. Where a whole coalition of local and regional forces are armed against it. These will be militias who will cause havoc and more pain, as they are going against the state it is working to topple.

The central government is losing it’s ground. Not only on the battlefield in Tigray, Amhara and Oromia. It is also losing the popular support elsewhere. The state has instead of galvanizing support or will to pursuit victory. Even when it has several of media houses, state broadcasters and such. Still, the resistance and defiance against it is seemingly growing. As the people and leaders in the regions are seeing the genocidal and deadly orders of PP. That’s maybe why they are joining the Grand Coalition in hope that this will get rid of merciless tyrant in power.

Clearly, Abiy and PP haven’t made friends, but has instead gotten plenty of enemies. It doesn’t help that the state is taxing it’s citizens. While they are buying weapons to a war, which is killing it’s own civilians, instead of feeding their own. The state is more preoccupied with getting drones, than getting aid convoy’s to feed the starving citizens. Peace.

Ethiopia: Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) – A Brief Note on Current Situation of Oromo Liberation Struggle (25.08.2021)