As a famine approaches in Tigray, food availability has become a weapon of war.
Reporters warn that food availability is being used as a weapon of war as hundreds of thousands of people in Ethiopia’s turbulent Tigray region face famine.
More than 350,000 people in the war-torn country could face hunger, according to the UN and other humanitarian organizations.
According to Associated Press reporters, the problem isn’t just that people are starving; many are being purposely starved.
Farmers, relief workers, and local leaders in Tigray’s rural districts verified that Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers are impeding and even stealing food aid.
Meanwhile, an Associated Press team witnessed Ethiopian military officials turning back convoys carrying food and medical help as combat in Hawzen restarted.
The military are also accused of preventing farmers from harvesting or plowing their fields, taking planting seeds, murdering livestock, and robbing farm equipment.
More than two million people have already fled Tigray because they are unable to harvest their crops. Those who stayed are frequently unable to sow new crops or cultivate the soil for fear of their lives.
“Mass hunger is inevitable if things don’t change soon,” a humanitarian worker in the area stated.
“This is a result of human error.”
Officials – and food supplies – are still unable to reach the most remote regions of a region notorious for its rocky inaccessibility even in the best of circumstances, making it difficult to determine the true scale of the hunger.
The UN World Food Programme announced on Thursday that it had delivered relief to 1.4 million people in Tigray, “barely half of the population we should be reaching,” due to armed groups blocking the route.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of mothers are imprisoned behind the front lines or military checkpoints in rural regions for every mother who makes it out.
Dr. Kibrom Gebreselassie, main medical director of Ayder Hospital in Mekele, remarked, “Most of the malnourished infants die there.” “This is just the top of the iceberg,” says the narrator.
The fighting in Tigray began in early November, just before Thanksgiving. (This is a brief piece.)