United Nations – Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): Press Statement on Visit to Ethiopia (04.08.2021)

Ethiopia: Two Humanitarian Organizations suspended from working in Tigray

Today it’s revealed that the Prosperity Party and Addis Ababa regime have suspended two humanitarian organizations from working in Ethiopia. These are Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

This is clear strike against the humanitarian operations done and made within Tigray. The MSF have also been suspended from operating in Somali Region, Gambella, Amhara, as well as the Tigray Region.

The PP and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali is clearly repeating history. As he wants to shield the world from the atrocities and doesn’t want humanitarian organizations reporting on it. Since, these organizations report what they see and get donations to do work or deliver aid. This is why these is targeted. Since they speak out about the horror, the devastations and man made-famine in Tigray for instance.

The current regime wants things hidden and not for the world to know. If the regime and the warlord wanted it to the public. He wouldn’t have gagged media houses, blocked the region and made it nearly impossible to bring humanitarian assistance.

There is already usage of social media and handlers of the state to vilify the United Nations Organizations and other humanitarian groups, as they are targeted as they are brining the needed humanitarian assistance and convoys to the Tigray region.

We should be worried that other groups would soon end up in the same predicament. As the state is cracking down on them. Just like the state has been blocking, stopping and searching every convoy going to the Tigray region. While claiming there is no needs and the state is meeting it. The state isn’t weaponizing starvation and hunger. No, they are coming with food and shelter, while they are besieged for months upon end. This is a clear indication of what the state is willing to do. They don’t care and what the state is doing is vicious.

The suspension of MSF and NRC is because they are willing to tell the truth. While they are trying to work and being humanitarian organizations in the middle of a man-made famine. The government who blocks water, electricity and the roads to Tigray region over the months of warfare in the region. Therefore, this is just following the systematic disregard of the general public and the citizens who are struggling in the Tigray and elsewhere.

The PP and PM doesn’t care and doesn’t value these people. If it did. They would have been there yesterday to help and secured the needs being met for all the citizens. However, that isn’t the case and its been procedure and protocol to do otherwise. The world shouldn’t be silent. This is targeting the weakest, the ones who has nothing and the ones whose seeking shelter in a war-zone.

Today it is MSF and NRC. Tomorrow it might be someone else who is suspended. This isn’t only hitting Tigray, but other regions … as well and everyone should get help if there is a need and the state cannot cover it. If the state could shelter, feed and take care of its own. However, the Ethiopian government have needed humanitarian organizations to cover for its shortcomings.

This is why today is tragic, because this hits the most needed and the ones who are in the hands of these organizations. Instead of proving a point, the administration is only showing its vicious retaliation, which will hit a innocent third party… their own civilians who is struggling across the Republic. Peace.

Ethiopia: Abiy using Bayraktar TB2 UAV to surveillance and directly attack the TDF advances

Underscoring that Turkey attached great importance to Ethiopia’s serenity and stability, President Erdoğan stated that Turkey would continue to provide every kind of support to Ethiopia” (Turkish Presidency, 01.08.2021).

It is now official as the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali have procured and started to use Bayraktar TB2 UAV (Drone) in the prolonged conflict in Ethiopia. This is what the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) is doing, as it want to control and monitor all movement.

Army Technology describes the drone as: “Designed for short range reconnaissance and surveillance missions, Bayraktar is currently operational with the Turkish Land Forces” (…) “The standard payload configuration includes an electro-optical (EO) camera module, an infrared (IR) camera module, a laser designator, a laser range finder (LRF) and a laser pointer” (Army Technology – ‘Bayraktar TB2 Tactical UAV’).

The same site says the “drone” have 150km range and endurance of 20 hours. This has been used by Ukrainian army and the Turkish army. Now, it is also used by the ENDF to combat the advances of the Tigray Defence Forces (TDF). That is the clear message here.

On its own promotional pages it says: The Armed UAV Bayraktar TB2 is a multi-purpose platform as it can perform Target Acquisition using the onboard laser designator. It is also capable of eliminating the target using its payload consisting of four smart munitions. Bayraktar TB2 is a system that offers all cutting-edge solutions required to carry out surgical-precision strikes preventing the widespread damage to close areas” (https://baykardefence.com/uav-15.html)

Especially, considering that the PM visited the Bayraktar TB2 ground control station and looked into the operative use of it with other military officers. That just happens after yesterdays phone call between the PM and the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It seems to fit so perfect.

That the Turkish President calls to find out if the PM and his army is happy with the arms delivery. They were supposed to speak of other matters, but certainly a warlord like Abiy is focused on the usage and the spending on the war-effort. As he seeks to find new ways to get advantages over the TDF.

We see that the Turkish gives the tools for surveillance and monitor the opponents. This is a tool that the ENDF will use and it will be beneficial for them. So, that they can stop the advances of the TDF. Because, that is real… and the Tripartite Alliance is losing. This purchase is only trying new technologies to get ahead. However, that doesn’t stop the lack of training and militias that is sent to the front-line. These drones are only making a clear picture and possible track the TDF. Nevertheless, this isn’t equipping more trained soldiers on the battlefield, which is where the TDF is showing progress.

That is why Abiy trying to find another way of victory. He is paranoid and he needs something else to work. Even use drones that is possibly armed and can directly target specific targets. That says it all. As he can surveillance an area and also possibly drop munitions on targets.

There is nothing Abiy isn’t willing to do. There was talk of UAE drones earlier in the “Operation Law Enforcement” but now its officially Turkish produced ones who is bought in to help the cause. Peace.

Ethiopia: Tigray – The Humera massacre proven by the floating bodies into Tekeze River inside Sudan

Yes, the Sudanese army discovered the bodies, and will provide statement of that, also the army put more troops in that area coz the issues looks not well at all in Ethiopian side” (Sudan Motion, 02.08.2021).

What we are hearing from Humera & the dead bodies we are seeing across the Tekeze river in Sudan is beyond anyone imagination. Humera is full of dead bodies at every corner, specially Walka neighborhood (ዋልካ ሰፈር) Humera is a killing field for Tigrayans now” (Hailu Kebede, 02.08.2021).

Tghat reports: “Western Tigray is a scene of crime: ethnic cleansing, forced removal, massacres, executions and throwing people to the Tekeze river. The land is being changed through burning, confiscation and severing infrastructure connections to the rest of Tigray. In many towns, no Tigrayan is left. “There are no Tigrayans here,” said an Amhara contact in Dansha when asked if there are Tigrayans left in there” (Tghat.com – ‘We see daily one or two dead bodies with their hands tied behind their backs floating on the river Tekeze’ 02.08.2021).

Again, there is a need for information out of Sudan to verify and prove what is happening in parts of the Tigray region. This isn’t new, as the Ethiopian authorities and allies have tried to black-out all information from the war-torn region. That has been common occurrence since the war started in November 2020.

Therefore, that the authorities and state calls this fake. While the bodies are coming steadily down the river. Says a lot of the activity from the Amhara Para-Military Group “Fano” which is operating and have annexed these part of Western Tigray. Where the Tigray Defence Force (TDF) haven’t reached yet and the Tripartite Alliance is continuing their devious practices inside the region.

The actions in Humera is following the countless massacres, villages and civilian murders, which the Tripartite Alliance have done. That’s done without knowledge of what extent or how horrific these massacres was. “Fano” and the Eritrean Defence Force (EDF) have been reported for participating and doing war-crimes, which would fit with what is now reported in concern to Humera.

However, this is also scaling the massacre up. As they are more sinister and this is genocidal. We can only know for now the amount of bodies that is floating into Sudan, which is tragic enough and that might only be the tip of the iceberg. Because, the Sudanese reports have no reasons to lie about this or reveal it. They are just seeing the evidence of the war-crimes and the actions done within the region.

The Bahir Dar and Addis Ababa leadership wants this to go away. That’s why they are trying to debunk it and say it’s old pictures. Nevertheless, the same authorities have lied about nearly every aspect about this conflict. That’s why I have a hard time believing the Addis sponsored media and government sources. Since, they have no issues about lying about everything else. This is why I know the Sudanese witnesses will not lie about this.

We should be extra worried, as the state is doing what it can to bury this one. The same authorities that tried to downplay Mai-Kadra massacre and others, which has cost civilian lives in this conflict. That’s why we need to shed a light on this and not let this go. As the ones in-charge is willing to let civilians die and never give them any justice. Peace.

Opinion: The EBC promoting “Fano” now

“′Fano is sacrificing for Ethiopia and freedom” (EBC, 01.08.2021).

The Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) dropped a Facebook post where they deliberately promotes and legitimize the Amhara Para-Military Group “Fano”. The media house is by this action doing the bidding of the Tripartite Alliance and the handlers of the Prosperity Party.

At this point it isn’t shocking, but shows what the warfare and continued conflict does. The EBC wasn’t promoting the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) or any other direct government entity. No, it is was supporting a local militia and it’s war effort.

Parts of the piece said for instance this: “The members have said ′′we will protect the country’s peace by repeating the history of patriotism and Fano” (EBC, 01.08.2021).

When the EBC is producing and creating content like this you where the war-effort going. The warfare is so down and out. They have to promote and be a voice for a regional militia, which has been participating in the Tigray region since November 2020. A militia who has a reputation for participating in massacres, rapes and war-crimes as well. In combination of being a tool to annex land in Western Tigray to the Amhara Regional State. Therefore, the EBC is now a voicing them to the whole world to see.

The PP and Prime Minister Abiy must be proud of this. The Bahir Dar administration and regional government must be giddy. They have one of the biggest news outlets promoting their militia who fights for their cause. This is disgusting and should be a sign of what the state is willing to do.

This article or Facebook post wasn’t published on Borkena, but EBC. This could have easily been a post on the Amhara Communications. No, it was a big media house of the EBC who did this. That should say it all. Peace.

Ethiopia: UNICEF – 100,000 Children in Tigray at Risk of Death from Malnutrition (31.07.2021)

UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado told a UN briefing in Geneva that humanitarians’ worst fears about the health and wellbeing of children have been realized.

NEW YORK, United States of America, July 31, 2021 – More than 100,000 children in Tigray, Ethiopia, could suffer from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in the next 12 months, a tenfold jump over average annual levels, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday.

The development comes as UNICEF announced that it had recently reached areas of Tigray that were previously inaccessible owing to insecurity linked to nearly nine months of conflict between Government forces and those loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, or TPLF.

Worst fears

UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado told a UN briefing in Geneva that humanitarians’ worst fears about the health and wellbeing of children have been realized.

Assessments also indicate that 47 per cent of pregnant and breastfeeding women are acutely malnourished, suggesting that they could face more pregnancy-related complications, an increased risk of maternal death during childbirth and the delivery of low-birthweight babies, who are much more prone to sickness and death.

“We need unfettered access into Tigray and across the region, in order to provide support children and women urgently need,” she said, her comments coming as UN emergency relief chief Martin Griffiths and US aid relief (USAID) head, Samantha Power, reportedly planned to hold talks in Ethiopia this week to push for increased access in Tigray.

Aid convoy approaching

Meanwhile, World Food Programme (WFP) spokesperson Tomson Phiri, said that a convoy of more than 200 trucks was on its way to Tigray, but “this is a drop in the ocean.” At least 100 trucks are needed every day “if we are to stand a chance to reverse the catastrophic situation”.

Latest UN data indicates that humanitarian partners have reached nearly 3.7 million people. But the aid response has been slowed by cut-off communications services and widespread power cuts.

A further challenge is the fact that the movement of aid teams and supplies is only possible via one route, through the Afar region, which requires passing through multiple checkpoints, where humanitarian personnel have been interrogated, intimidated and in some instances detained, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Extreme danger

The operating environment in Tigray also remains extremely dangerous, said spokesperson Jens Laerke, noting that at least 12 aid workers had been killed to date, including on 24 June, when three Doctors Without Borders staff were murdered.

Humanitarian funding also remains a major problem, as more than $430 million is still needed to fund the aid response in Tigray until the end of the year.

In an appeal to all parties to the conflict, Mr. Laerke urged them to keep entry routes open to Tigray, to prevent large-scale loss of life, before appealing to the Ethiopian Government to allow humanitarians to bring in additional communications equipment, as well as provide longer visas for NGO staff.

Permissions call 

The UN needs “critical communications equipment and longer-term visas for NGO staff” for its aid operation in Tigray, Mr. Laerke continued.

According to OCHA, 5.2 million people – about 90 per cent of the population – are now in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance and hundreds of thousands are facing famine-like conditions.

Mr. Laerke explained that the conflict in Tigray had started in the middle of the harvest season in November 2020, when a quarter of crops had already been ruined by locust swarms.

More than 90 per cent of what was left of the harvest was then looted, burned, or flattened, making it critical that farmers are provided now with the tools, assistance and access they need to sow their crops, he added.

Trauma of survivors

Speaking of her own recent experience in the region, UNICEF’s Ms. Mercado noted that one young female survivor of sexual assault told her that “she watched her grandmother get killed, she was raped by several men and she watched her nine month old baby being tossed around by other men”.

A doctor at a UNICEF supported referral centre in Mekelle, told her that he had been struck by the fact that in many cases it was not the assault itself, but rather the psychological damage it inflicts on children, women and health staff, that was most difficult to bear.

Opinion: Abiy wants to be remembered for his “green legacy” but he will instead be remembered for his ‘Medemer terror’

We are now in the end of July in 2021 and time has passed. The Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali have been proven and his certainly not a man of peace. Neither is he a man of reforms or progress. No, Abiy is an old fashion warlord who by all mean uses his office to consolidate power and continues his path to be crowned the Seventh King of Ethiopia.

That is who Abiy is now. He wants to be known for planting trees, steering rain and being the most promising leader on the continent. However, we all know that this isn’t true. His armies, his authorities and his ministries are all working in cahoots to destroy, get rid off and silence anyone in his way. That’s why the leaves of green will not save his legacy now.

The trees that the plants is nice for props, posh pieces in the press and looks great in the world of climate change. However, that does not save the guns, the ammunition and the destruction his policies have made towards one region and other opposition in his way.

Abiy have used force in Ogaden. Abiy have used all means to silence and go after the opposition in the Oromia region. While in Tigray he first started with a blockade, with financial constraints and stopping all business between Mekelle and Addis Ababa. Long before the attack on the Northern Command. Heck, the Addis government even ordered Commandoes to take out the leadership of Tigray in 2018. That is the sort of leader Abiy is.

Then surely, he did the same in Amhara where the assassins got rid of the problematic ones. So, that the right persons could have the offices and the seats in favour of the current leader on the top.

Now, he is embroiled in a prolonged warfare in Tigray. It has escalated to Amhara and Afar region. Where also other groups are participating. The conflict is getting more vicious and more extreme. Where more innocent lives are taken and more people’s livelihood is on the line. Where all old grudges and ethnic land-boundaries are in question. Because, this man sparks conflicts and he ensures everyone takes their knives out. That’s why the Somali-Afar conflict is back in motion. Not because Tigray Defence Force (TDF) entered, but because of allies of the PM massacred Somalis in Somali Region (Ogaden).

That’s why the man-made famine, the blocking of humanitarian assistance from the Federal Government, the lack of care for the people and use of military force to settle political disputes is the reason why we are here. We are not here because the PM is planting trees and refurbishing office buildings in Finfinne. No, we are here because he orders soldiers, youths, Regional Special Forces and government sponsored militias to the battlefield. That’s why we are here and it’s brutal.

This is the era of the Medemer Terror. It is tragic, sinister and destructive. It is not building peace or inclusive dialogue. Well, Abiy thinks he deserves the right detain, silence and even kill his opponents. Because, that is what his state does and effortlessly too. Keeping the Oromo leaders behind bars for over a year and still no proof of the supposed allegations or charges against them. So, when a government does this to Jawar and others, why should be believe the narratives spun about his other enemies?

Alas, that is the Medemer terror in action. That is the policy and the way he will be remembered. Since we cannot remember him for planting green trees, when people are dying, hurt and on the move. When people are detained, seeking refugee elsewhere or dead. We cannot clap for his greatness and his achievements, when so many lives have been touched negatively. These are the lives he was supposed to give peace, harmony and a future too. Not in his power to destroy and annihilate. That is the decision he made, and he shall be remembered for that. Peace.

Ethiopia: Tigray-Eritrea Solidarity Forum ተስፋ Tesfa امل – Urgent and unfettered food aid to Tigray needed more than ever (30.07.2021)

Ethiopia: Afar Revolutionary Party – Afar People facing multiple catastrophic situations in the Region! (28.07.2021)

Ethiopia: The Government of Tigray – Current position of the Government of Tigray regarding a Negotiated Ceasefire (27.07.2021)