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Tigray Crisis

Context:

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) director-general has suggested that racism is behind a lack of international attention and interest in Ethiopia’s war-stricken northern Tigray region, where millions of civilians are living in dire conditions.

  • The director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), described the Tigray crisis region as the “worst humanitarian disaster on earth”.

Relevance:

GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. The conflict in Tigray
  2. What is the current humanitarian situation?

The conflict in Tigray

  • While there have been tensions in the regions for nearly 3 decades, observers state that they escalated in September 2020, when leaders in Tigray held local elections in defiance of the Ethiopian government.
  • According to a Reuters report, these elections were considered “illegal” by the federal government, further leading to conflict with Tigray authorities.
  • In November 2020, Abiy ordered a military offensive in the northern region of Tigray.
  • His government claimed that the the rebels known as the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TLPF) , a former ruling party in Ethiopia designated as a terrorist organization by the Ethopian government, had attacked its army bases.
  • Over the next year, violence would spread to other parts of the country.
  • The conflict was a result of months of disagreements between the Abiy government and political leaders in Tigray, who were opposing reforms pursued by the federal government.
  • However, the conflict is far from over. A five-month ceasefire between rebels and government forces shattered on August 24 2022, after fighting broke out on the border of Tigray, with both sides accusing the other of initiating the violence.

What is the current humanitarian situation?

  • According to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, food security is expected to worsen in Tigray in the coming months.
  • The report said that the humanitarian situation had “significantly deteriorated” in the region in 2022, exacerbated by prolonged drought.
  • The report also highlighted how for the first time in July this year a COVID-19 vaccination campaign was launched at Mekelle hospital, making it the first COVID-19 vaccination in Tigray.
  • But given the instability in the region, the vaccination campaign faced several difficulties “including intermittent power outage affecting cold-chain maintenance, lack of fuel, limited communication and internet access affecting timely results and reporting, difficulty locating IDPs in host communities, and low partners’ participation.”

-Source: Indian Express


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