The humanitarian crisis in Tigray is spiraling out of control, with approximately 5.2 million people in dire need of food aid and plenty of people are living in ‘famine like conditions’. According to the World Food Program (WFP), the malnutrition rate in the region is 80%.
Back in June, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told the BBC in an interview that: “There is no hunger in Tigray”.
This highlights the insensitivity of the government and how the masses have been gaslighted. The official language of the UN suggests that people may “start to die” from starvation. Its not ambiguous that this is not just an attempt to starve masses, but they seek to cover it up as well.
Furthermore, the government blames Tigray People’s Liberation Front (PLF)- the ruling party of the region, for the crisis, which has interestingly been declared as a terrorist organization.
Time and again, the government has accused the Tigrayan forces for the blocked routes, advancing the troops into neighboring areas, but one after the other, all the accusations have been clarified.
The major concern of humanitarian aid not reaching on time to Tigrayan people, is not because of delays caused within the region itself. Instead the aid takes more time in getting there, even the UN officials assent to the same and have stated the government’s ‘policy of blocking the region’ as the root cause of it.
The Emergency Relief Coordinator has told UNSC members that Eritrean soldiers have been “using starvation as a weapon of war”.
Adding on, back in September, when OCHA head Martin Griffiths said: “This is man-made; this can be remedied by the act of government.” A couple of days later, 7 senior UN officials have been expelled by the Ethiopian government on the basis of maintaining their sovereignty as they accuse the officials of ‘meddling’ in the country’s internal affairs.
There is a raging fear that if the situation in Ethiopia is left unaddressed now, the crisis will jeopardize the stability of the wider region.
Furthermore, the UN Secretary-General, once again chimes the immediate cessation of all hostilities, to uphold the sanctity of human rights and all the parties to abide by the international humanitarian law to facilitate humanitarian access and ensure the protection of civilians.