Over the past months, residents in Ethiopia’s Tigray region have been living in fear. The surging conflict between the Ethiopian government and Tigray officials has taken a toll on the area, rendering the environment unsafe. The aftermath of the confrontations has, therefore, left a high dependency on hospitals in the region with numerous cases of casualties growing daily. Nonetheless, the humanitarian assessment in the area reported that the hospitals were already receiving aid, and the urgently needed supplies.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to control the situation, the Eritrean troops have sided with the Ethiopian government to pursue the outlaws. As of now, the Tigray officials who have been inciting the tensions are living in hideouts. The Ethiopian government has, therefore, disconnected the communication lines in the region and blockaded the roads.
Impacts of the Conflicts
The violence, which has been on consecutively for two months, has resulted in over 50000 Ethiopians fleeing their homes to Sudan. Those who have managed to reach their destinations successfully have left reports of abductions, killings, and torture along the way. Basic needs like food and medical supplies in the region have also run out. Therefore, surviving in the area has become challenging, especially as it is also a time of the pandemic when many economies have deteriorated. As such, approximately 4.5 million people, which is about two-thirds of the people, need humanitarian assistance. According to the assessment:
” The little food stock the affected communities had been looted, burned, or damaged. The locust outbreak in the area has worsened the situation. And the living conditions for both recently displaced people and host communities remain critical. As a result of the conflict, many houses, shops, and private stores were burned or damaged. Schools, health centers, and buildings were also looted.”
Call for Peace
The United Nations and Rights Groups have called on the Ethiopian government to act swiftly regarding its political crises. They also cautioned that intentional attacks on the Hospitals in the country were war crimes. This warning came after an anonymous gunshot in the hospital.
Prime Minister Abiy, nonetheless, has rejected international interference in the conflict. He stated that the battle happening in his country was his problem to solve. The difference between Tigray officials and the Ethiopian government started way back when Prime Minister Abiy descended to power. He had dismissed the Tigray Party, which had been dominating Ethiopian politics for 30 years.
The chief of European Union Foreign Policy, Josep Borell, stated on Saturday that he had talked with the Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen, warning him of the EU’s alarm over the Tigray situation. He clarified that the notice was not an EU demand but rather an international law. Currently, the Ethiopian government, United Nations Agencies, and aid groups offer humanitarian assistance to the victims of political and ethnic conflicts in Tigray. The aid groups and UN agencies have even visited Mekele, the most impacted and communities in southern Tigray.