UN officials warn Ethiopia’s Tigray is at “serious risk” of famine food news
In a Security Council briefing seen by AFP, senior UN humanitarian officials warned that urgent measures are needed to avoid famine in the embattled areas of Ethiopia.
Agence France-Presse reported on Wednesday that Mark Lowcock, UN Deputy Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, wrote: “If the scale of aid is expanded in the next two months, there will be a serious risk of famine. “
Now in the seventh month, the conflict in Tigri has killed thousands of people and about five million people need assistance.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Abiy Ahmed) accused the then ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the northern region of planning an attack on the federal barracks and ordered ground and air operations in Tigray in early November 2020. Military action. TPLF dominated national politics for decades, until Abiy came to power in 2018. The party stated that the Federal Forces and its long-time enemy Eritrea launched a “coordinated attack” against it.
The 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy declared his victory in late November after the army entered the regional capital of Mekelle. However, fighting and abuse continue, which has raised concerns about protracted conflicts and has had a devastating impact on the civilian population.
At the same time, aid organizations have repeatedly called for humanitarian assistance to reach 6 million people in the region. The ghost of famine Has been lingering for a few months.
The Agence France-Presse report said: “There is an urgent need to take concrete measures to break the vicious circle between armed conflict, violence and food insecurity.”
He said: “I urge the Security Council and other member states to take all steps to prevent famine.”
He continued: “Today, at least 20% of the population in the region is facing emergency food insecurity, adding that even now, there are still vandalism and violence against civilians in Tigri.”
“In the six and a half months since the Tigri conflict broke out in early November 2020, an estimated 2 million people have been displaced. Civilians have been killed and injured,” he said.
“Rape and other forms of abominable sexual violence are widespread and systematic. Lowcock warned: “Public and private infrastructure and items essential for the survival of civilians have been destroyed, including hospitals and farmland. “
UN officials estimate that “more than 90% of the harvest was lost due to looting, burning or other destruction, and 80% of the livestock in the area were looted or slaughtered”.
Lowcock also wrote: “Despite the improvement in March and the cooperation of local authorities, overall humanitarian access has deteriorated recently”,
He added: “Humanitarian operations have been attacked, blocked or delayed in providing life-saving assistance. In the past six months, eight rescuers have been killed in Tigray.”
According to the latest news, the Ethiopian government promised “unrestricted humanitarian access” in December, but due to active hostilities, most areas of Tigray, especially rural areas, are still largely cut off. .PDF format) Was proposed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) at the beginning of this month.
OCHA said that since the beginning of March, all parties to the conflict have sealed off parts of the central, southern and southeastern Tigray, warning that food insecurity in the area remains “enormous and terrifying.”
In the report (PDF format) Was released last month. The World Peace Foundation, a research organization at Tufts University, warned that the threat of mass famine and famine in Tigray was imminent, and accused the Ethiopian and Eritrean army of “systems” Land” destroyed the economy and food system of the region.
The Ethiopian Embassy in London said in a speech statement It “rejects the World Peace Foundation’s baseless accusation in the strongest terms that the Ethiopian government is’starving the Tigray people’ and using’hunger as a weapon of war’.”
The embassy said: “The government has so far taken concrete steps to provide life-saving food to 4.2 million citizens of Tigray through coordination with local and international partners, and fully respond to local humanitarian needs.”
Eritrea also Refused Regarding the allegations of “use of sexual violence and hunger as a weapon” and the obstacles to aid to the region, the region said that since 2009, about 1.6 million people have depended on humanitarian assistance. Sophia Tesfamariam, Eritrea’s ambassador to the United Nations, also stated in a letter to the Security Council last month: “The allegations of rape and other crimes against Eritrean soldiers are not only heinous, but they are also against Uganda’s culture. And history carried out a vicious attack. Our people.”