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)

Ethiopia: Horrific rumours from the frontline

There are rumours and several of reports of horrific news from the frontline of the conflict. As the Tigray Defence Force is continuing to gain territory in Amhara region. Today’s rumours and unverified reports are really tragic, if true.

As the TDF is advancing closer to Woldiya/Weldyia. There has been internal conflict within the government forces, which is really worrying.

The first report, which has been reported by several of sources is that the Commander of the 32nd Brigade who happens to be Oromo was assassinated either by the Amhara Regional Special Forces or “Fano”. While other of the same ethnicity who has conscripted to the warfare has also been executed by the same Amhara regiment. That was done because the Amhara controlled forces believed the Oromo was directly conspiring and acted in treachery with the TDF.

That is what the rumours are right now. That the Amhara is killing own allies of another ethnicity to prove a point. They are not only targeting Tigrayan and the TDF. They are also going after the Oromo who happens to participate on the same side on the front.

The second rumour, which is connected to the above mentioned massacre of own soldiers on the frontline. Is that the Amhara regiment behind the slaughter did this to confiscate the armaments from the Oromo allies.

This is really tragic and possibly new atrocities… shows what the Amhara Regional Special Forces and “Fano” can do. The other ENDF troops and others participating in the warfare should question, if they even should join the Amhara in it. When they are willing to kill and easily get rid others this quickly. People who has forced to conscript and become part of the ENDF war-effort.

I hope to God that these rumours aren’t true, but if they are… then the Amhara shows their vicious acts and spares no-one in this conflict. Nobody has value or means anything. Except for their own kind, which says a lot… when the same government in Addis Ababa always speaks of “unity” and “togetherness” but their main ally can easily “annihilate” others. Peace.

Opinion: Abiy has now more enemies than ever before [and the TDF is just the beginning of it]

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali isn’t creating a stable region of the Horn of Africa. The Prosperity Party and their policies of consolidating power in the Republic have backfired. Now, with every month and the struggles of Addis Ababa is getting clear.

The PM has not only lost the Tigray region. He has no power there and the people will not back any cronies or yes-men from the Federal Government there. As the warfare, the genocidal affairs and the massacres by allies of the PM will linger on there forever. His name and his “Law Enforcement Operation” hasn’t been a commando to get rid of the TPLF Central Executive Committee or TPLF High Ranking Members. The leadership of Tigray still persist and that’s why the PM has lost all leverage there.

The PM has no support in Oromia. He could “win” the region in the election, because no one was really allowed to challenge the PP or the PM in general. The Oromo leadership has become an alliance between the Oromo Liberation Front/Army (OLF/A) and Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC). The OLF/OLA is waging war and trying to take control of woredas in the Oromia region as we speak.

In Gambela region there is a new Gambela Liberation Front (GLF) is a result of the actions of the PP and the PM. They are active and become a unit because of what the PP has done in the Gambela region. Therefore, he is losing support here as well.

In Somali Region (Ogaden) and Afar Region there are several of things going against the Federal Government. Not only is the targeting of civilians creating massacres since 2018 and re-do that strategy now in 2021. The Afar Regional Special Forces creating a massacre in Ogaden. Therefore, the militant Issa-Somali is starting to target towns in Afar Region in retaliation. These ethnic clashes is created by the policies and choices made by the Addis leadership. The TDF is in Afar region, but getting help of Issa-Somali to block the railway line to Djibouti and also closing roads to Djibouti as well.

What is striking with Ogaden is that the Oganden National Liberation Front (ONLF) haven’t acted on the power-vacuum in the region. As the Regional Special Forces was deployed to the frontline together with Liyu Police Forces too. Still, there have been no information and they seems to be peaceful in the middle of everything that is happening in the republic currently.

Not to forget the Afar Liberation Front who is also fighting in the region as well. They are working together with the TDF, but that has not been verified. What is clear is that the ALF could cause damage to the allies of the PM. 

When we see all of this, as well as the battle on various of fronts towards the Tigray Defence Force. Which is continuing towards Gondar in Amhara region. The Federal Government, the PM and PP is failing on all fronts. They are sending untrained youths from various of regions, after the Regional Special Forces, Republican Guards and the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) have all lost to the TDF.

The PM’s gamble have backfired. He has lost the the troops, the soldiers and now sending conscripted youth without training to the frontline. Prime Minister Abiy now has not only the TDF, which has destroyed him totally. The PM also have to cover the fronts of Afar, Ogaden and in Gambela as well.

He also have the TDF in his rear-view, as well as all the other ones who is creating chaos. It is not only on one front and one party that his going against. Now it has turned to various of regions, different armed groups who has their mandates and motives to create more conflict, as well as the porous and fickle security situation has changed because of the prolonged conflict with the TDF.

PM Abiy have now ensured that the Republic is burning. That is happening all across it. The state have had the monopoly of violence and issued that in Oromia, Ogaden, Tigray or in Benishangul gumuz. That has been acts of injustice and impunity. The PM and PP did that to secure power and now that’s all hitting home.

The PM doesn’t only have the TDF to destroy, he has the Issa-Somali, Afar Liberation Front and others who are working against the PP and the PM himself. They are going after the regime and their allies. Therefore, this is showing how dire things are. Peace.

Ethiopia: Alliance of Tigray Associations in Diaspora (ATAD) – Denoncing Genocidal Characterization of Tigrayans by Ethiopian leaders and Urgent Call to the People of Amhara and Ethiopia (26.07.2021)

Ethiopia: The Ministry of Peace (MoP) recruits for War!

I’ll go to the front line whenever, wherever and with whatever I have” (Ministry of Peace, 26.07.2021).

We know the war effort of the state is dire when the Ministry of Peace is calling for recruitment to war. The Ministry of Peace is asking for people to join the army and the war effort. That is very ironic as the Ministry is open to world about their mission and their mandate. Which is in stark contrast to the message sent out today.

Here is what they are supposed to do:

The Ministry of Peace was established under proclamation number 1097/2011 on October 16, 2018. The office of the Ministry of Peace was created to sustain the reforms that Ethiopia is currently undergoing through peace-building measures, establishing, and strengthening the rule of law, and building the capacity of peace and security focused sectors” (Ministry of Peace – ‘About’ on Facebook).

You cannot make this up… and it should send shock-waves that a Ministry of Peace is publicly asking for recruits to the army. The MoP is wanting people to sign up for war and go to the frontline. That is the initial message.

That is more the Ministry of War than of Peace. The Prosperity Party and all of its allies in embroiled in the war. Every aspect of society getting fitted into it. The various parts of government is asking for youths, their quotas and participating in the war effort.

That shows what the government is willing to do. They are sending untrained youth from several of regions to participate and being sent to the frontline meeting the Tigray Defence Force (TDF). This is clear signs of the destruction of the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF). Just as the Regional Special Forces being sent earlier this month to the frontline already.

Now, the government and even Ministry of Peace calls for more recruits. That says everything you need to know. This tragic and Orwellian. It is really telling and the “Law Enforcement Operation” of the state has clearly backfired. Peace.

Ethiopia: The Deputy Mayor of Addis Ababa wants the youth of the city to join the army

Today, the Deputy Mayor of Addis Ababa Adanech Abebe have now official launched and stated that she wants the youth of the capital to join in on the war effort against the Tigray Defence Force (TDF). The Prosperity Party Deputy Mayor is clearly following the party programme, as the state is doing this across the Republic now.

The Ethiopian state has done this deliberately in other regions. They have rounded up and had quotas of youth, conscripted and lack of trained youth to the frontline of the warfare. The state of the army must be lacking. When the state is willing to send their untrained youth into the battlefield. They are meeting a successful army at this point and who has combatted well-trained soldiers. While now the state is sending barely trained young civilians to combat in their war against Tigray.

Here is what she said:

Dear Ethiopian youth of Addis Ababa to join the brave military and those who haven’t registered yet, hurry up with your brothers and sisters ′′.

The Prosperity Party and it’s allies has no scruples sending the youth, the future of their nation to fight a war of consolidating the power for one man. This being the war of power for the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali and his cronies. They are willing to risk the lives of the youths on a battlefield with little to no training.

As the state needs recruits and redeployment for the advancing army of the TDF. Who is succeeding and hurting the state. It has diminished the ENDF and now not only the allies of Amhara and within Ogaden region have spoken up about this, but now the Deputy Mayor of Addis Ababa does it as well.

This shows where the state is going and how everything is involved in the war-effort. Just like the Amhara regional state has a own war-chest and fund to donate too. That is what this state does and it’s all up in the open.

This war-cry and call to arms from the Deputy Mayor was dropped on the Facebook page of the ruling regime’s party page. That is how willing they are… and the youth is clearly their last chance of clinging on to power. The Prosperity Party and its allies are willing to sacrifice the youth just so the consolidation of power could succeed. To boost the moral of one man and his cause. That’s what they are doing and it shouldn’t be a thing, but in 2021 Ethiopia that’s the case.

This is tragic, but it follows a pattern at this point. Peace.