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Post at: Aug 06 2021

TIGRAY Crisis in Ethiopia

WHY IN NEWS

  • Recently in June, 2021, the conflict between federal government and the ruling party in the Tigray region of Ethiopia has turned into major crisis.
  • According to an analysis of the United Nations Agencies & aid groups, more than 3,50,000 people in Ethiopia’s Tigray are suffering from famine condition with million more at risk.

IMPORTANCE OF EAST AFRICAN REGION

The strategic importance of this east African region comes from it being the source of the Nile and a gate to the Red Sea & the Gulf of Aden.

BACKGROUND OF THE CRISIS

Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed has declared its political & military foe, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) as a terrorist group.

  • There are a reports of brutality against Tigrayans mostly by soldiers & police. They are held in detention without any charge.
  • Nearly about 115 million people (Tigray) grappled with daunting social and economic challenges before a feud between Mr. Abiy and the TPLF. Hence it erupted into violence.
  • This ethnic tension has created immense humanitarian crisis that involves the neighbouring countries. That could destabilize the entire Horn of Africa.

  • As a result 1 million to 2 million people have been displaced from their homes. More than 63,000 have fled to Sudan as per United Nation & Local officials.

WHO ARE T.P.L.F. & THE TIGRAYANAS?

  • The T.P.L.F. began in mid-1970’s as a small militant group of Tigrayans. It was long marginalized by the central government. They are fighting against Ethiopia’s military dictatorship.

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  • Soon, T.P.L.F. became the most powerful rebel force in the country. They toppled the government in 1991 leading an alliance.
  • Males Zenavi headed the T.P.L.F. led Ethiopia from 1991 until death in 2012. Thus Ethiopia experienced significant economic growth & the government systematically repressed the political opponents & curtailed free speech.
  • By the result, antigovernment paved the way for Mr. Abiy who became PM in 2018, and purged many Tigrayanas from position of power and charged some with corruption or human right’s abuses.
  • This step infuriarated the T.P.L.F. & opened a deep chasm between T.P.L.F. & Central Government.
  • In 2019, Mr. Abiy merged the governing coalition into a single party and drove ethnic and regional power blocks.
  • In January 2021 the federal government stripped the T.P.L.F. of its status a legal party & in May 2021, it labeled as a terrorist organization.

HOW IS ERITREA INVOLED

  • Eritrea entered the war on the side of Ethiopia’s central government & got several accused of worst abuse in Tigray.
  • While United States of America and others called on Eritrea to withdraw.

  • Mr. Abiy set the new relationship signing a peace deal with Eritria that helped him to win the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.

IMPACT ON NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES

  • Children are dying of malnutrition due to starvation & brutality.
  • The western Tigray, ten of thousands of people have been driven from their homes by Amahara militans.
  • Ethiopia is becoming a source of instability and a volatile region.

SOLUTION

  • Give unobstructed access to people who need aid.
  • More funding to the affected people urgently.
  • Humanitarian actors are needed to scale up the response.
  • Prime Minister, Mr. Abiy must maintain the decorum of Nobel Peace Prize Winner to end up the ongoing scuffle & crisis.
  • United Nations & other member countries should come forward to give peace solution.

CONCLUSION

  • There is an urgent need of essential supplies to the vulnerable people and an international response.
  • The response of the international community will prevent the further destruction & contribute towards a sustainable and just peace.

Amit Gupta


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