Ethiopia’s government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front agreed to a truce Wednesday after a two-year war that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands and one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.
The deal, when distilled, comes down to the federal government ending its two-year blockade on Tigray while the TPLF disarms its forces. The UN’s World Food Program said it was prepared to immediately begin delivering food to the more than 13 million in the region facing hunger.
TRENDPOST: While much of the Western media ignored the unfolding calamity and affixed its gaze on the Ukraine War, The Trends Journal has reported extensively on the conflict and subsequent human catastrophe.
The war broke out in late 2020, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a former Nobel Peace Prize winner, launched a major offensive. Tigrayans were targeted after holding an election in violation of a countrywide voting ban due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (See “FIGHTING RESUMES BETWEEN TIGRAY AND ETHIOPIAN FORCES AFTER MONTHSLONG CEASEFIRE,” “HUNDREDS KILLED AS ETHNIC VIOLENCE INTENSIFIES IN WAR-TORN ETHIOPIA,” “ETHIOPIA’S WAR: DEATHS OF AT LEAST 2,000 TIGRAY CHILDREN NOT ‘NEWS’…ONLY UKRAINE VICTIMS COUNT” and “ETHIOPIA: FULL-BLOWN CIVIL WAR?”.)
Millions of people have been displaced from their homes in the country and at least five million in Tigray urgently need food. There has hardly been a mention of the rapes and other atrocities in the region in Western media that has been fixated on the Ukraine War.
The conditions on the ground have gotten so bad, that Alice Nderitu, the UN’s top official for genocide prevention, said last month that there is legitimate concern over calls to kill “every single youth from Tigray.”
The truce, which was signed one day before the second anniversary of the conflict in Pretoria, South Africa, does not include Eritrea, which has been fighting alongside federal forces and led to recent military victories for Abiy’s government.
Kindeya Gebrehiwot, the former president of Mekelle University, posted on Twitter Friday that Eritrean forces were conducting searches inside homes in the region and “looting any vehicle they find.”
“These forces have been committing heinous crimes, vandalizing & looting properties of #Tigray for 2 yrs,” he posted.
The BBC reported that a day after the deal was signed, the sound of artillery could still be heard ringing out over the mountain ranges of Tigray. A spokesman from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front claimed that Ethiopian forces carried out drone attacks in the Tigrayan city of Maychew, the AFP reported.
Under the agreement, Tigrayan forces agreed to disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate fighters into the federal army.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement that his office is ready to assist the next steps of the African Union-led process and will continue to mobilize much-needed assistance to alleviate suffering in the affected areas.”
Last month, he warned that the situation in the country was spiraling out of control.
TRENDPOST: Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, said last month that the scale of the fighting in Ethiopia can be compared to the war being fought in Ukraine, according to The Times, noting that up to 500,000 people may have been killed.
Few Americans understand that the Eritrean Defense Forces have used heavy artillery to shell Tigrayan towns before looting them. These near-constant attacks have led to a health care crisis.
In April, we documented how Mekelle’s Ayder Referral Hospital was forced to send 240 patients home after it ran out of food supplies. Among those sent home was a 14-year-old boy with HIV and babies with meningitis.
Tedros Fissehaye, a pediatric ward nurse, told Reuters that it was his job to inform some of the patients that the hospital had no more food.
“Nobody cried. We have finished our tears for months now. But every nurse was so sad,” he said. “The families said, pray for us, instead of dying here let’s go home and die there.”
Abiy said he achieved “100 percent” of his goals.
“In the negotiations in South Africa, 100% of the ideas proposed by Ethiopia were accepted,” he said. “Among the victories achieved, Ethiopia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity have been accepted by both parties.”