Ethiopia, which has already been accused of blocking aid from reaching starving Tigrayans, (See “ETHIOPIA CIVIL WAR = MASS MURDER, MASS STARVATION”) again managed to stop U.N. humanitarian aid by launching missiles at a plane delivering food and medical supplies in Mekelle—the region’s capital.
The fighting in northern Ethiopia has intensified over the past two weeks as Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s troops again tried to regain control of cities recaptured by Tigrayan forces during nearly one year of violence.
Abiy upped the ante last week after scrambling warplanes to the city that were accused of targeting residential areas and a university.
The Trends Journal has been reporting extensively on the conflict in Tigray since November 2020, after Abiy, the 2019 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, ordered a major offensive in the region because Tigrayan leaders held an election in violation of a countrywide voting ban due to the coronavirus. Abiy’s government at the time used fighter jets to soften targets in Tigray at the onset of the war and vowed the war would be completed in a few weeks.
That didn’t happen, and the humanitarian crisis in the country is considered the worst in the world. These are just a few of the many articles and trend forecasts we have made since then:
- “ETHIOPIA’S TIGRAY WAR HORRORS” (15 Dec 2020)
- “ETHIOPIA AND SUDAN: TENSIONS RISING” (26 Jan 2021)
- “ANOTHER ETHNIC MASSACRE IN ETHIOPIA” (4 May 2021)
- “ETHIOPIAN MILITARY CRISIS CONTINUES TO WORSEN” (29 Jun 2021)
Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is considered to be a formidable ethnic group comprising some 6 percent of the country’s 110 million people, the continent’s second-most populous country. There are over seven million people in the region in urgent need of relief, and at least 400,000 are in famine-like conditions.
The Ethiopian government said its strikes targeted weapons caches in the city and the town of Agbe.
Getachew Reda, the TPLF spokesman, said the government forces targeted a residential area “causing injury to civilians and harm to property.”
He said the airstrikes were Abiy’s “reaction to his losses in the ongoing fighting is to target civilians hundreds of kms away from the battlefield.”
One such area is the Amhara Region, which is in the north-central region of the country.
Seid Assefa, an official in Dessie, a city in the region, told Reuters that new fighting has prompted 250 people to flee the area.
“We now have a total of 900 (displaced people) here and we finished our food stocks three days ago,” he said.
TRENDPOST: Last June, we reported the remarkable change in the trajectory of the war in Tigray when Tigrayan forces managed to retake Mekelle and begin their offensive in the country. (See “ETHIOPIA UPDATE: TIGRAY FORCES RETAKE CAPITAL CITY.”) This was after a months-long war that allegedly involved—not only Ethiopian forces, but also troops from Eritrea and Sudan.
In June, Abiy called for a unilateral cease-fire. Tigray forces did not accept the offer. The BBC reported that Abiy framed the retreat as a “humanitarian” gesture, but analysts say that his government is just trying to stave off embarrassment. Since there was essentially no international pressure, Abiy—after taking a breather—resumed the Pyrrhic war as the humanitarian conditions in the country continued to suffer.
Of course, the most desperate will suffer from this misadventure.
The UN says just 1 percent of the targeted 5.2 million people in urgent need received food aid between 7 and 13 October, the AP reported.
TREND FORECAST: This Ethiopian civil war will continue to rage. The longer it lasts, more people will be escaping in efforts to find safe-haven nations. As economic conditions deteriorate across the continent, there will be strong anti-immigration populist movements in Europe to stop the flow of African nationals who will risk their lives to leave nations wracked by civil unrest, poverty, crime, government corruption and violence.