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Tigray Defense Force fighters survey the wreckage of an Ethiopian Air Force plane downed in Mekelle, Ethiopia, June 23, 2021. (Finbarr O'Reilly/The New York Times)

Tigray, the bloodiest war of 2022. Today, the fight is against hunger

The weapons have fallen silent, yet in the hospitals of Tigray, doctors are trying everything they can against hunger. The report and data that shake the world.

After the signing of peace agreements that ended the fighting between the federal forces of the ENDF with regional allies and those of the Tigray Defense Forces, drought and intermittent aid delivery throughout the northern part of the country have further exacerbated a catastrophic situation to say the least.

Ph. Credit: USAID

Aid flows to Tigray were temporarily interrupted earlier this year. The World Food Programme (WFP) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), among the main aid donors for the region, suspended the flows after bitterly discovering that they were being diverted and sold on the black market, depriving those who really needed them. The WFP has now stated that aid delivery should resume within this month of July.

Although the Ethiopian government initially criticized the decision, it later set up a task force to investigate the incident and accelerate the resumption of flows to the region, which are crucial to avert total disaster.

Gebrehiwot Gebregziabher, director of the Tigray Disaster Risk Management Commission, stated that since April and May, the commission has received reports from various districts and departments in the northwest, east, and southwest areas of Tigray of people dying directly or indirectly from hunger. He said that 595 people have died in the districts under his jurisdiction so far.

Gebregziabher added, in an interview with VOA News, that in the last three months – due to the suspension of humanitarian aid – more than a thousand people have died of hunger.

Tigray, TPLF leaders have formed a team to negotiate with the Ethiopian government
Getachew Reda, President, Tigray Interim Regional Administration.
Will the aid finally find its way to Mekelle? We know that the President of the Tigray Interim Regional Administration, Getachew Reda, stated on July 5 on Twitter that he had held talks with WFP officials regarding the resumption of aid to the region’s population.

Acts of tragedy in all its forms.
A new report from the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) revealed that with over 100,000 victims, the war in Ethiopia was the third deadliest in 2021, becoming the deadliest conflict in the world in 2022 and recording the highest number of battle-related deaths since 1984.

Finbarr O’Reilly/The New York Times
The report, published on Tuesday, June 13, states that the recorded deaths worldwide in conflicts involving civilians were over 204,000 in 2022 alone, with the wars in Ethiopia and Ukraine sadly holding the negative record with 89% of the deaths.

Ethiopia, the war in Ukraine, and the devastating effects on the economy
While the war in Ukraine has attracted much of the world’s attention, the conflict in Tigray has gone almost unnoticed; “a war among the poor” which resulted in 81,500 deaths in Ukraine and a staggering 100,200 deaths in the war that involved Tigray.

Although data collection is always a merciless and imprecise task, for which they must be taken with great caution, both the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) and Olusegun Obasanjo, the African Union’s special envoy for the Horn of Africa and main mediator in the conflict resolution, have confirmed the extent of the catastrophe that has befallen the population of the region.

Olusegun Obasanjo has gone even further, stating in January of this year that the war in Tigray may have killed up to 600,000 people.

Ethiopia, Obasanjo: “Over 600,000 deaths from the war in Tigray”
Act after act, Ethiopia seems to be facing an endless tragedy. In addition to the war in Tigray, there is a full-fledged armed conflict with the Oromo Liberation Army, which the Peace Research Institute Oslo has recorded as one of the seven growing armed conflicts worldwide in 2022.”


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