First modification: 07/31/2021 – 02:24
The United Nations warned this Friday that thousands of minors are at risk of severe famine in the conflictive region of Tigray, in the north of the country, due to the armed conflict between the rebel forces present in this territory and the central government. International organizations denounce human rights violations and the worsening of the situation in the region.
A new cry of alarm in Ethiopia. The United Nations warned this Friday about the critical famine situation in which almost a million people find themselves in the troubled region of Tigray, in the north of the country.
A panorama that, according to the international organization, may worsen in the coming weeks due to the fact that humanitarian aid from UN agencies is not reaching the population, which is poorly trapped in the latent conflict between the rebel forces in the region and the National government.
“As UNICEF reaches areas of Tigray that were inaccessible in recent months due to insecurity, our worst fears about the health and well-being of children in that troubled region of northern Ethiopia are confirmed,” said the Fund spokeswoman. from the United Nations for Children, Marixie Mercado, warning that some 100,000 minors could suffer severe acute malnutrition, putting their lives at risk.
WFP runs out of food in #Tigray this Friday. It takes 100 trucks per day to reach everyone we are aiming to feed. 170 trucks bound for Tigray with food and other supplies are stuck right now in Afar and can’t leave. These trucks must be allowed to move NOW. People are starving.
– David Beasley (@WFPChief) July 27, 2021
The conflict in the region between the central government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which began last November, caused a massive displacement of thousands of people, but thousands were trapped in the disputed areas, without access to food or medicine. . “In many places there are no supplies of the therapeutic foods necessary to treat malnutrition, nor antibiotics, and the health facilities do not have electricity,” Mercado said at a press conference upon his return from the country.
Pregnant and lactating women at serious risk
Children, pregnant and lactating mothers, the latter accounting for 47% of this severely malnourished population, are the most vulnerable target of malnutrition, which increased tenfold due to the war, stoking the worst fears of humanitarian organizations that lead months denouncing this aggravation.
Mercado said that “without sufficient humanitarian aid, child malnutrition will increase beyond already alarming levels, which will pose a higher risk of mortality among a vulnerable population.”
In recent months, the Ethiopian authorities have on many occasions prevented the transit of goods and supplies that humanitarian organizations are trying to deliver to the region. Also, humanitarian aid workers are being attacked, making it difficult to attend to thousands of people.
“It has been more than two weeks since a convoy led by the WFP (World Food Program) headed to Mekelle, in Tigray. A convoy of more than 200 trucks is now en route from Semera to Mekelle. This is a drop in the bucket. the ocean. We need at least 100 trucks to go to Tigray every day if we want to have a chance to reverse the catastrophic situation we have today, “insists Mercado.
The UN noted that the situation in various parts of the African country is deteriorating, with human rights violations both in Tigray, now largely controlled by the rebels, and in other ethnic areas of the country such as Somali, Oromo and Amhara. However, access to these regions is very limited, so the actual conditions of the inhabitants there is unknown.
Human rights violations in the Tigray region
Among the human rights violations reported by the agency, abuse, sexual violence – more than 1,600 cases according to the United Nations -, recruitment of minors, arbitrary arrests and persecution for ethnic reasons are alarmed. A trauma that thousands of Ethiopians carry in their recent memory without yet being cared for as they need.
Many have seen their loved ones and relatives die, others have suffered all kinds of humiliation. Something that is of particular concern to the United Nations Department for Genocide Prevention, since such violations are occurring at the hands of all parties involved in the conflict, including the Ethiopian State.
90% of the population needs humanitarian assistance
The prime minister and controversial Nobel Peace Prize winner, Abiy Ahmed, has referred to the Tigray region, which seeks its independence and autonomy, as “Ethiopia’s cancer”, a vocabulary that, according to the UN representative for the Prevention of Genocide, Alice Wairimu Ndertu, resembles the one employed in past genocides.
“These dynamics in the current socio-political context, characterized by deep ethnic tensions throughout the country, constitute a dangerous trajectory that leads to a greater distancing of the communities,” said Nderitu, about the hate speech of the Ethiopian authorities.
The war in Ethiopia unleashed the nation’s worst humanitarian crisis in recent history, with 90% of the Tigray population in need of humanitarian assistance. The request of the humanitarian organizations sounds again with force while, in the interior of the region, the information blackout and despair persist.
With AP and EFE