A senior UN official stated that more than 400,000 people are currently suffering from famine in Tigray, Ethiopia, and another 1.8 million people are on the brink of famine, painting a devastating picture of a troubled area where humanitarian access is Extremely restricted.
Beginning in November 2020, with the support of the troops of neighboring Eritrea and fighters from the Amhara region of Ethiopia, fighting has broken out between the Ethiopian Federal Government and troops loyal to the then ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the northern region. Tigray has always suffered from conflict.
The United Nations Security Council held its first public meeting on the conflict on Friday. A few days later, the Tigray army took back the regional capital of Meckle by an astonishing turn.
Ramesh Rajashingham, the acting head of United Nations aid, told the Security Council that the humanitarian situation in Tigre has “deteriorated drastically” in recent weeks, and the number of people facing famine has increased by about 50,000.
“It is estimated that more than 400,000 people have crossed the threshold to enter the famine, and another 1.8 million people are on the brink of famine. Some people think this number is even higher. 33,000 children are severely malnourished,” he said.
“There are still 2 million people displaced, and nearly 5.2 million people still in need of humanitarian assistance. The vast majority are women and children. One of the most disturbing trends is the alarming increase in food insecurity and hunger caused by conflict. .”
Government of Ethiopia Announce Unilateral ceasefire on Monday, TPLF Be denounced as a “joke”The area has since experienced power and communication interruptions, and there have been reports of continuing conflicts in some places, with different forces controlling different areas.
Rosemary DiCarlo, head of United Nations political and peacebuilding affairs, said there are reports that TPLF leaders, including its former President Debretsion Gebremichael, have returned to Merkel. “Critical infrastructure has been destroyed and there are no flights in or out of the area,” she said.
DiCarlo said that elsewhere in Tigray, the Eritrean army, accused by witnesses of some of the worst atrocities in the war, had “retreated to the area bordering Eritrea”.
The Amhara army remains in the west of Tigray. DiCarlo said that the Amhara branch of the ruling Welfare Party warned in a statement on June 29 that the army in the area will stay in the area during the conflict. Territory captured in the west.
She warned: “In short, the security situation may see more confrontations and rapidly deteriorate, which is very worrying.”
Taye Atske Selassie Amde, Ethiopia’s ambassador to the United Nations, later told reporters when asked whether the Amharic army would stay in western Tigray, “This is a fact.”
The ambassador from that part of Ethiopia said that the western region was once part of Amhara, but was “forcibly incorporated into Tigray in 1990 without any due process.” He said that the dispute will now be submitted to the Government Border Commission.
Al Jazeera reporter Catherine Soy from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, said that the security situation in Tigray was “complex and changeable.”
“The Tigray fighters continue to make progress; the central government and the Eritrean army are withdrawing; they still control the areas where the two ethnic communities claim to own most of the Sitigarbah. , Those desperate civilians who just want to return to normal.”
On the humanitarian front, Rajah Singham, the United Nations Acting Head of Aid, said that the United Nations teams of Merkel, Shire and Aksum have been able to move elsewhere in the past few days. He described this development as “positive “. He said that the United Nations is now planning to send convoys to hard-to-reach areas, but its World Food Program only has enough food for 1 million people in Merkel for a month.
“This is only a small part of what we need,” Rajah Singham said. “However, our health, water, sanitation facilities and other non-food supplies are almost used up. Food alone cannot avoid famine.”
Raja Singham urged Tigray’s “all armed and security actors” to use the fastest and most effective route to ensure safe passage for humanitarian workers and supplies.
He was shocked by the destruction of the Tekeze River Bridge on Thursday. “It was reported that two other bridges were damaged-which cut off the main supply route for food and other life-saving supplies.”
Rajasingham called on the Ethiopian government to “immediately repair these bridges and help prevent the spread of famine by doing so.”
“What we see in Tigray is a protection crisis,” Rajasingham emphasized, referring to the killing of civilians during the conflict and more than 1,200 reports of serious cases of sexual and gender-based violence. , “There are more cases that continue to appear.”
After the Security Council held its first public meeting on conflict after six closed-door discussions, it did not take any action or issue any statement.
But Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, stated that the Ethiopian government must show that “it does intend to use a ceasefire to solve a humanitarian disaster” and warned that any refusal of aid access “does not indicate Humanitarian ceasefire”, but siege”.
Ethiopian ambassador Taye told reporters that the purpose of the ceasefire “is not to siege the city, but to save lives.”
He also questioned the need for a public safety committee meeting, telling the agency that announcing a ceasefire is to improve access to aid, “our friends should be encouraged to support and reduce unhelpful pressure.” He said the government hopes that the ceasefire will also trigger dialogue. .
Although Russia and China are not opposed to Friday’s public meeting of the Security Council on Tigray, they made it clear that they consider the conflict to be Ethiopia’s internal affair. Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, said: “We believe that the Security Council’s intervention to resolve this issue will be counterproductive.”
Russia and China, as well as the United States, France, and the United Kingdom are all veto powers in the Security Council.