Abiy Ahmed: Lies, lies, and more lies. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
The agreement worked out on March 24, 2022 between the Ethiopian federal government and the regional government of Tigray to cease hostilities in order to facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance to the blockaded territory was greeted with cautious optimism by the Tigrayan Diaspora.
Some received the news with a heavy dose of skepticism, given the history of multiple broken promises made by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to the U.S., European Union, United Nations and the African Union (AU) at different times since the war on Tigray began. The empty promises bought the regime time to regroup and launch military offensives time and again.
The World Food Program (WFP) has been saying that Tigray needed 100 truckloads of food per day to mitigate the famine resulting from the blockade. The Abiy Ahmed-led kakistocracy has allowed a total of 66 trucks to get through in the one month period since the purported ceasefire. This represent 2.2% of what would be needed.
Reports are rampant that the government and its allies from the neighboring country of Eritrea and the Amhara ethnic militia are amassing troops on the southern and Western borders of Tigray for yet another attempt at subduing the region. Habitual lies and deceptions is the modus operandi of this prosperity gospel-inspired regime and this has become apparent to all. Needless to say, the government claims that aid is flowing into Tigray, a claim contradicted by facts on the ground. But the regime has long learned that it pays no penalties for blatant lies. The victims are those enduring famine in the blockaded territory.
This is a familiar pattern. The first impulse of the Abiy regime is to lie or obfuscate when addressing a problem. Abiy does not seem to realize that this can only serve as a temporizing measure, since, as Dr. King once said, “No lie can live forever”. When confronted with the truth, Abiy pivots and scapegoats. Various reason have been given for why humanitarian aid is not entering Tigray over the course of the war: the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) are blocking delivery; or, the Afar fighters are impeding travel through their state; or, Amhara militia are blocking the aid from going through. It goes on and on.
One would think the Amhara and Afar regional states are foreign countries outside the control of the federal government. It is tantamount to admitting that Abiy has ceded control of the country to forces he created to fight TDF by inciting anti-Tigray sentiment with hateful messages. Abiy is now unable or unwilling to disarm these forces if they are indeed responsible for blocking the delivery of aid to Tigray. If that is the case it is incumbent upon the United Nations Security Council to immediately establish a humanitarian corridor enforced by the UN peace-keeping force made up of AU member troops. Then there will be no excuse that some other entity is blocking relief supplies from Tigray.
One cannot emphasize enough the urgency of the situation. A study by Ghent University shows the man made famine caused by the ethnocidal blockade and war has cost the lives of half a million of Tigray’s population which numbered less than seven million. This is 7% of the population and it would be the equivalence of the U.S. with a population of 330 million losing 23 million people.
The time to act by the international community to move beyond expressions of “concern” is long overdue. Failure to act makes them complicit in the ongoing genocide.
It serves no purpose to shed crocodile tears as the numbers of dead from lack of food and medicine continue to swell. The war has now engulfed also other parts of Ethiopia in an orgy of senseless violence on Nobel “peace prize” recipient Abiy Ahmed’s watch.
Dr. Mohammed Nurhussein is a retired physician.