Addis Ababa (Agenzia Fides) - While the world's eyes are on Afghanistan, a silent drama is unfolding in the Horn of Africa. The war that broke out in the Tigray region in November 2020 has long since spread beyond the borders of the province in northern Ethiopia and has spread to other regions of the country, which has further aggravated the dramatic situation for the civilian population.
The latest UN report on the humanitarian crisis in Tigray states that "only a fraction of the humanitarian aid needed to meet growing needs" is reaching Tigray Province, where the situation "remains unpredictable and volatile, while the movement of the Tigray forces continues in the region inhabited by the Amhara and Afar". About 2.4 million people in the regional state of Somali are dependent on help as reports of increasing malnutrition and the threat of water scarcity emerge.
The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which has driven Ethiopian and Eritrean troops from Tigray, has gone on the offensive and has announced that it has reached agreements with other armed groups. One of these groups appears to be the main rebel group in the Oromia region of Ethiopia, which has announced that it will cut off an important road connecting Ethiopia and Kenya, which would endanger trade with Nairobi.
"The conflict is entering an even tougher phase. Ethiopia is in its most dramatic phase in its recent history," a local source told Fides. "Iranian drones have gone into action bombing the Tigrinya troops while central authorities are arming civilians. So the Liberation Front is dealing with several militias, but the fact that they have invaded the Amhara area is causing trouble for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed".
In the meantime, the Ethiopian head of government is seeking international support, not least to settle disputes with neighboring Sudan, for which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered to mediate. During his visit to Turkey, Abiy not only received a promise from the Turkish President to work for a solution to the Tigray conflict and the dispute with Sudan, but also signed a military agreement with Ankara. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/8/2021)