The leader of Ethiopia's Tigray region is still claiming that his side will pull the ongoing conflict with federal forces.

His claim came just two days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared victory and began withdrawing troops from the region. The UN estimates that the three-week long conflict has displaced over 45,000 people.

Tigray leader Debtresion Cebremichael says the government forces carried out a ''genocidal campaign''  against his people, a claim that cannot be verified until Ethiopia begins allowing observers into the region.

Ahmed, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year, has spent much of the war threatening journalists and human rights groups. He has also called international diplomatic efforts ''unwelcome and unlawful acts of interference''.

Meanwhile, the UN estimates that up to two 2 million people in the Tigray region face food insecurity and shortages of basic necessities, including medical supplies.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has warned that refugees in Sudan will begin to run out of food this week. Even if the food problem is resolved, Sudan and South Sudan can barely handle their own issues. A foreign refugee crisis could destroy both fledgling democracies.

The root of this conflict was a political dispute. The Tigray People's Liberation Front [TPLF] dominated the coalition that ruled the country for 27 years until Ahmed's rise saw it lose power.

This was partly due to the party's own refusal to move away from ethnic politics - Ahmed the ruling coalition want to promote an Ethiopian identity.

Since then, TPLF has complained over its loss of influence. Ahmed, incidentally, is Oromo, the country's largest but historically oppressed ethnic group.

The TPLF's perceived sleights may not be defensible, especially of the Ahmed government's accusation that the party is responsible for ethnic cleansing and terrorism are true.

However, it is still worrying that in just one month, an award-winning ''peacemaker has taken his country down a path of war that could destabilise the entire region.

The World Students Society thanks Editorial Research, The Express Tribune.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!