French Newspaper Monitors the Effects of the Humiliating Defeat of the Ethiopian Prime Minister in Tigray
“Abiy Ahmed has been facing political, military and humanitarian crises since his war on the Tigray region.”
It seems that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis that could bring down the Tigrayan people. This further exacerbates Addis Ababa's international position, in addition to its internal military and political crises.
The French newspaper La Croix reported on the Ethiopian Tigrayans who are seeking to separate their region from the federal government in Addis Ababa.
The newspaper said that the Tigrayan forces, who are engaged in armed confrontations against the Ethiopian army, have taken control of everything in their area; Rather, they advanced in two neighboring provinces.
On the other hand, the newspaper points out that one of the results of that bloody conflict is the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians.
On the other hand, Ethiopia threatened on August 6, 2021, to deploy its full defense forces against the Tigrayan forces that attack the neighboring provinces.
The day before the Ethiopian threat, the TigrayanPeople's Liberation Front (TPLF) had captured the famous city of Lalibela in the Amhara region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Tigray war was raging in November 2020, when Abiy Ahmed sent his forces to overthrow the (TPLF).
The (TPLF) is the party that has long dominated politics in the region, before Abiy Ahmed took power in Addis Ababa in 2018.
The Conflict in Tigray
La Croix describes the conflict by saying: “Abiy Ahmed intended to consolidate his authority in the face of this rebellious political and military force.”
“But despite the promise of an early victory, the conflict continued,” it added.
It indicated that “the confrontations started again in June 2021, when the (TPLF) retook Mekelle, the provincial capital.”
In an exciting scene, the (TPLF) forced the Ethiopian army to retreat and declare a unilateral ceasefire.
Since then, the (TPLF) has controlled most of Tigray, and has led armed attacks in the neighboring areas of the region, east in Afara and south in Amhara.
The newspaper considered that “the regional extension of the conflict represents a military and political challenge for Abiy Ahmed, and it raises fears of exacerbating the suffering of the population.”
In this context, the official in charge of humanitarian affairs at the United Nations, Martin Griffiths, visited the Tigray region on August 6, 2021, months of fighting and abuse have pushed 400,000 people into starvation.
The (TPLF) accuses the federal government in Addis Ababa of obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid; those responsible for this aid criticize the bureaucratic obstacles to its delivery.
For its part, the government asserts that the ceasefire was aimed at facilitating the delivery of aid, and the attacks by the (TPLF) destroy this initiative.
But at the same time, Addis Ababa suspended the work of two non-governmental organizations located in Tigray, they are “Doctors Without Borders” and “the Norwegian Refugee Council.”
It justified its decision by saying: “They are spreading misinformation through social media and other platforms, outside the scope of the mandate and purposes for which these organizations are permitted to operate.”
The United Nations rejected these charges, as did the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield.
On Twitter, the Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, issued stern warnings about the crisis.
He said: “As happened in February 2020, and during 40 years of humanitarian work, I have rarely seen so many obstacles to providing aid.”
The office of the Ethiopian Prime Minister announced on August 6, 2021, the arrival of 63 additional trucks of humanitarian aid to Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region, to bring the total aid in recent weeks to 220 trucks.
Nevertheless, Martin Griffiths estimated that the United Nations would need to send 100 trucks to Tigray per day.
He warned that this critical assistance would be necessary even in 2022, due to the lack of expected crops for 2021.
According to the United Nations, about 5.2 million people, more than 90% of the population of Tigray, live on foreign aid.
America considers Ethiopia a vital partner in the volatile Horn of Africa, but the administration of US President Joe Biden publicly criticized the war in Tigray.
In March 2021, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken denounced the ethnic cleansing of western Tigray.
In May 2021, he announced visa restrictions on Ethiopian and Eritrean officials accused of fueling the conflict.