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.
“The Amhara regional government has said that the rumors that the government is going to disarm Fano are baseless and an enemy plot to divide the Amhara people. The regional government has held talks with members of the Fano organization. Fano, in collaboration with other security forces, is a force to be reckoned with. Therefore, neither the federal nor the state government has any plans to disarm Fanon” (Amhara Prosperity Party, 14.01.2022).
The ones who believes the Tripartite Alliance is dead and stopped their war in Ethiopia. They have to see the signs, as the Eritrean Defence Force (EDF) is not only fighting on front within Tigray Region, but is also deployed in the Oromia region. Alas, Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) have stopped their advances and not continued inwards in Tigray. However, there is air-strikes and drone-strikes on the regular, killing and destroying infrastructure on the daily. Meaning, the Tripartite Alliance is intact.
The Amhara Para-Military Group “Fano” has participated in the whole war and the Amhara Regional State has used their means. Their Regional Special Forces has been activated as well. The Police Force and anyone who could move before the November 2020 has been used. Heck, civil servants was getting military training in the region for their “survival campaign” at some point. Therefore, Amhara Regional State was as invested as it could be.
The Amhara state communications have today published story called: “”Fano is one who respects the system and sacrifices himself for the benefit of the Amhara people”! Mr. Gizachew Muluneh” (Amhara Communications, 16.01.2022). That’s the story that I will digest and show to the world. As that shows what the Amhara Regional state is willing to do and what Amhara Prosperity Party is believing. This is government sanctioned publication and article, which shouldn’t be left without anyone looking into to it.
It starts with: “The government will not disarm the Fano who fought for the welfare of the country and the freedom of the people” (Amhara Communications, 20212.
They are starting with thanking and appreciating what the armed group or militia did in the war. As it has participated in massacres, looting and total destruction. It has been a vicious group and done war-crimes on the front-lines, as an ally of the cause and with deliberate act to annihilate the Tigray region. Therefore, the freedom and welfare is only for the Amhara Regional State and not the whole nation…
“The Fano have made great strides in thwarting the invasion of the TPLF; The head of the office said that they have paid the price for their lives; The government recognizes and rewards these people, but there is no reason to disarm. When the government’s idea falls to the ground, it is to treat the injured Fano in the same way as other forces, and not to disarm them, but to do what they have done for the dignity of the country” (Amhara Communications, 2022).
Here we are seeing it is continued. That their acts and enterprise in this war is of vast importance. This is why the Amhara Prosperity Party and Amhara Regional State have no plans of disarming Fano and neither challenge it’s existence. Instead, they are treated as part of the government. That says it all here really…
It continues: “Fano is an armed force that, in the event of an emergency in the region, coordinates with the rest of the government security forces in the same way as anyone else; In times of peace, the farmer, the farmer, is the one who goes into business and returns to his normal business. In peace, most of the Fano is at work; If there is no work, the government will use this force to get them to work” (Amhara Communications, 2022).
Here the state is initially stating that in ordinary times the Fano is workers and farmers doing their duties as citizens. However, when it’s war these are called in as recruits and natural part of the war-effort. This is making them a “home-front” of sorts… but the Fano can also be a way of having unemployed recruited to it too, which is backfiring the first argument. As that means this is to stem for unemployment and secure the idle can become para-military and militia members, which can be deployed in need by the state. That is a hectic organization and also very confusing to say the least.
“Fano is not a superpower, but a state under the control of the government. Anyone who deviates from this and is interested should not be called by the name of Fano. The regional government, from its political leadership onwards, wants to be organized in an orderly manner. But this is not about disarmament, it is from my opinion that the administration of the armed forces should be seen in a process and led in a system” (Amhara Communications, 2022).
They make it seems like it is an institution and part of the armed forces, but at the same time it’s ordinary folks who just take up arms. They are just unsigned recruits and militia members who can be called up in need. Therefore, you cannot disarm them or disband them. As they are own entity, but at the same under the system of the Armed Forces (ENDF). Which doesn’t make total sense either.
So, it seems like the Amhara Regional State and Amhara Prosperity Party doesn’t have their minds totally made up. As they are initiated as a part of the army. Therefore, these units and this formation isn’t something to overlook. It has already cast a spell on the ones in power. They cannot disarm them and will use them. This means they are part of the Regional State defence organization and will not be disbanded. That is perfectly clear. They are even praising their achievements and what they have done. Which means the Amhara Regional State are proud of their acts and military offensives… and that should send out red-flags and worrying signals.
As the Fano has participated in vicious massacres and ethnic cleansing together with the EDF in the Tigray Region. That has been reported and needs to be investigated. Since, these forces hasn’t been used to secure cattle in Gondar or rearing goats around Bahir Dar. Peace.
Stocks of nutritionally fortified food for the treatment of malnourished children and women are now exhausted.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 14, 2022 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today warned that its life-saving food assistance operations in northern Ethiopia are about to grind to a halt because intense fighting has blocked the passage of fuel and food.
The escalation of conflict across northern Ethiopia means that no WFP convoy has reached Mekelle since mid-December. Stocks of nutritionally fortified food for the treatment of malnourished children and women are now exhausted, and the last of WFP’s cereals, pulses and oil will be distributed next week.
“We’re now having to choose who goes hungry to prevent another from starving,” said Michael Dunford, WFP’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa.
“We need immediate guarantees from all parties to the conflict for safe and secure humanitarian corridors, via all routes, across northern Ethiopia. Humanitarian supplies are simply not flowing at the pace and scale needed. The lack of both food and fuel means we’ve only been able to reach 20% of those we should have in this latest distribution in Tigray. We’re on the edge of a humanitarian disaster.”
More than a year into the conflict in northern Ethiopia, an estimated 9.4 million people require humanitarian food assistance. This is an increase of 2.7 million from just four months ago, the highest number yet. At the same time, because of fighting, food distributions are at an all-time low.
WFP plans to reach 2.1 million people with food assistance in Tigray; 650,000 in Amhara; and 534,000 in Afar Region.
WFP also warns it will likely run out of food and nutrition supplies for millions of people across all of Ethiopia from next month due to an unprecedented lack of funding. WFP is calling for an additional US$337 million to deliver its emergency food assistance response in Northern Ethiopia and US$170 million to reach those affected by severe drought in Somali region over the next six months.