BY SOLOMON DIBABA
Over the last two years, terrorist TPLF has been confiscating and diverting relief food, strictly meant for feeding needy citizens in Tigray region. For the most part of those years, the Government of Ethiopia was providing 75% of the relief food requirements for the region while the rest was covered by UN agencies and international NGOs which were operating in the region.
In response to the immediate effects of the war during the law enforcement measures, the government was supplying huge amount of food aid to citizens in Tigray by expending billions of money from the federal government coffer. Apart from establishing a provisional government in Tigray to coordinate the relief and rehabilitation programs, the government rehabilitated hospitals, clinics and other services that were completely destroyed by terrorist TPLF.
It is interesting to recall that earlier though that Martin Plaut, TPLF’s lobbyist has shockingly justified the looting of emergency food aid as legitimate reason despite the group is forcibly snatching aid from the victims. He was indeed and remains to be one of the key supporters of the terrorist TPLF by disseminating fake information to the world to deliberately mislead the international community about the true nature of TPLF.
Martin Plaut and other terrorist TPLF lobbyists who operate in the name of international experts are engaged in activities to dismantle Ethiopia with the expense of the lives of people in Tigray.
Those self-styled experts who appear in the media as journalists and analysts clearly reflect the position of the terrorist TPLF group and they promote the terror and other evil acts of the group to destabilize Ethiopia and the horn region.
To the dismay of every person with a rational mindset, the US was accusing the Ethiopian Government for “using hunger as a weapon of war” while in reality it was the terrorist organization that was starving the people of Tigray for the last four years.
The western powers were also accusing the government for “obstructing the smooth flow of relief food and medicaments through blockade.” It is also interesting to note the similarity of language used by the western powers and their media houses and the propaganda network of the terrorist TPLF.
Over the last several days, more than 5000 quintals of food hoarded by the terrorist group to be used for their army was found while huge amount of food was also discovered in the terrorist groups warehouses in Shire, Adwa and surrounding areas. ENDF forces have reportedly distributed the food found in different locations of the region to the population which was freed from the yoke of the terrorists.
Furthermore, the Ethiopian Government has readied Shire Airport to be used for swift delivery of relief supplies to the need population in Tigray.
It must be noted that one of the main reasons for the first unilateral ceasefire declared by the government was to enable farmers in the region to use the farming season to produce their own food. However, terrorist TPLF forces were deployed to the rural areas of the region to prevent farmers from tilling their lands. To make matters worse, they forcefully recruited thousands of farmers, conscripted children and the youth in the rural areas of Tigray closing down schools and colleges and universities in the region.
The terrorist group blocked smooth flow of food from Djibouti to Mekele and even confiscated thousands of heavy duty trucks that were transporting food inland into Tigray and used them to transport its militants and ammunitions to different battle fronts in Amhara and Afar regions.
The west never condemned the actions of the terrorist group but escalated pressures and propaganda war on Ethiopia. The terrorist militants made deliberate destruction on public facilities including looting, storing foods and grain looted from USAID, UNICEF and other international NGO warehouses in hideouts. Terrorist TPLF looted half a million liters of fuel from WFP depot and put the UN body into inaction preventing the international relief supply from reaching the population in need of immediate assistance. The WFP declared that it has ceased to transport food to the drought stricken population.
The entire situation clearly indicated that terrorist TPLF has no capacity and intention to address the relief needs of citizens in the region and is interested only in advancing its ethno-fascist political intrigues which it conducts at the expense of the starvation of the people of Tigray.
A couple of days before, the Government Communication Service released a statement in which the government has the responsibility to ensure the security and relief needs of citizens. The release added that the government will introduce viable control system to ensure the distribution of relief food to the needy in Tigray and elsewhere in the country.
That is why the government has explicitly declared that strict control system would be in place to deny any group from diverting food to the wrong recipients. The issue of relief supply is in the prerogative of the government and cannot be used as agenda for negotiations.
Despite the urgent call from the government, no meaningful response is in sight from donor agencies and government. However, the government will continue to solicit relief food for those in need.