The conflict in Tigray, after seeing the retreat of the TPLF forces and renewed attacks by federal and Eritrean forces, is taking a disastrous turn for the civilian population. Beyond the fact that in every war there are civilian victims, the situation in Tigray seems to be really getting out of hand for Premier Abiy Ahmed. This does not refer to the military situation, which seems to be firmly in the hands of government forces (unless there is a clamorous upheaval in the front line, which is, however, within the horizon of possibility) but precisely how the conflict is impacting the lives of citizens.
It is now well known that the Tigray region is in famine, as well as the difficulties of humanitarian agencies – UNOCHA and WFP in primis – to reach the areas and bring the necessary food aid. However, strong news has leaked out this week. It seems that hospitals in Tigray are running out of basic medicines and to this news Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, head of WHO and of Tigrayan origin, replied that “nowhere in the world are we witnessing hell like in Tigray”. In fact, even, for example, during the war in Syria, humanitarian aid has never stopped arriving to citizens in need.
In recent weeks, even the humanitarian aid that managed to enter the region is stopping because of the blockade imposed by federal forces, which in turn accuse the Tigray rebels of blocking aid. Moreover, the federal government has responded to the statements of the number one of the WHO, accusing him of being in agreement with the Tigrinya rebels and even asking for the opening of an internal investigation against Ghebreyesus for “harmful disinformation” and “misconduct”.
In addition to famine and the blocking of humanitarian aid, the civilian population is also suffering from drone attacks. Already last week we reported the news of the attack on the refugee camp of Dedebit that led to the death of 53 civilians, this week the attacks have continued and, according to the BBC, the total number of deaths in the last two weeks would be 108 civilians and 75 seriously injured.
Even the Nobel Prize committee, for the first time, has called for an end to the war, saying that the laureate Abiy Ahmed has a special responsibility to end the conflict. However, the continuous drone attacks on the civilian population show that Abiy Ahmed’s proclamations of peace and reconciliation are only empty proclamations, or that the Prime Minister is not in control of the army, as pointed out by Kjetil Tronvoll.