Ethiopia: Analysis – Ethiopia Says Tigray IPC 5 Report By T.PL.F Supporters – UN Chief Warns of “Hunger-Related Deaths”, Asks Evidence for Staff Expulsion


Addis Abeba — The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres said that U.N. “colleagues on the ground are sharing increasingly alarming eye-witness testimony of the suffering – including growing accounts of hunger-related deaths” in the war-torn Tigray regional state.

Mr Guterres said that in his briefing to members of the Security Council yesterday during an open session Ethiopia, under the agenda item “Peace and Security in Africa” shortly after Ethiopia’s envoy accused the expelled U.N. staff of executing “the conspiracy created by T.P.L.F and its members to generate an image of extreme causality… “

“In August, I warned the Council that a humanitarian catastrophe was unfolding before our eyes in Ethiopia. Since then, the crisis has worsened”, Mr Guterres said, adding “up to 7 million people in Tigray, Amhara and Afar are now in need of food assistance and other emergency support. This includes more than 5 million people in Tigray where an estimated 400,000 are living in famine-like conditions.”

The UN Chief acknowledged “some minor improvements – that are welcome,” but said it did not change the fundamental nature of the problem. Vital fuel supplies continue to be blocked, as are essential medicines and equipment. Humanitarian organizations continue to lack the cash they need to operate and to pay their staff. Access to electricity remains precarious. Millions of people are cut off from communications networks and vital services such as health care.”

The fighting in Amhara regional state presents yet “another serious impediment to humanitarian access, he said, and “as a result of all these facts, life-saving humanitarian operations are being crippled.”

UN challenges staff expulsion

This is the second emergency meeting by the UNSC in less than a week after Ethiopia declared seven senior staff members from three U.N. humanitarian organizations operating in Ethiopia persona non grata, accusing them of “meddling” in its “internal affairs.”

Mr Guterres the expulsion “unprecedented” and warned it “should be a matter of deep concern for us all as it relates to the core of relations between the UN and Member States,” and said the decision didn’t follow “formal procedure.”

Speaking right after Ethiopian UN envoy, Mr Guterres asked Ethiopian government to provide evidence of wrongdoing by the expelled staff. “If there is any written document provided by the Ethiopian government to any UN institution about any of the [seven] members of the UN that were expelled, I would like to receive a copy of that document, because I have not had any knowledge of any of them. And it would be very useful for me to detect if documents are given to the UN and not given to my knowledge then I have to investigate what has happened in my organization.”

During the open session yesterday, Taye Atske Selassie, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations, told the SC members that Ethiopia finds it “incomprehensible for this August body to discuss the decision of a sovereign state exercised within the domain of international law and sovereign prerogative.”

“We truly hoped council members would have the insight to leave this matter to the government of Ethiopia and the United Nations. At the outset, I would like to register our position that the government of Ethiopia is not under any legal obligation to provide justifications or explanation for its decisions.”

Ethiopia dismisses UN’s IPC 5 categorization

Ambassador Taye further accused the expelled staff of executing “the conspiracy created by T.P.L.F and its members to generate an image of extreme causality that warrants [‘humanitarian intervention’] and rescues the criminal group. ” He also accused them of sidelining “their oaths, the rules of professional conduct, and the principles of humanitarian assistance.”

Without mentioning whose words, Ambassador Taye further accused the UN humanitarian staff saying: “to use their own words, they were looking to create a Darfur like situation. They suddenly and overnight created one million victims of health disaster. While OCHA country office report[ed] 2.8 million people that need emergency health assistance, the the main OHCA office was made to report 3.8 million only because that level of inflation of misery was needed to elevate the crisis to level three.”

He further disputed U.N’s recent classification of the food insecurity level in Tigray under IPC 5. “They categorize the situation in Tigray under IPC 5 based on data collected from a region of six million population by a single F.A.O. staff and interpreted by two U.N. staff that are Ethiopians and open supporters of T.P.L.F based in Rome.”

It is to be recalled that in June 2021, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations World Food Program (W.F.P.) and UNICEF called for urgent action to address “the dramatic” acute food insecurity in northern Ethiopia.

“The three agencies are particularly concerned about the situation in Tigray region where the risk of famine is imminent, unless food, livelihood assistance and other life-saving interventions continue to be scaled-up, unimpeded access is guaranteed, and hostilities cease.”

According to the statement by FAO, the call came in response to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, released on June 10. “The IPC is a global, multi-partner initiative – comprised of 15 UN agencies, regional organizations, and international non-governmental organizations – that facilitates improved decision-making through the provision of consensus-based food insecurity and malnutrition analysis.”

The report asserted that more than “60 percent of the population, more than 5.5 million people, grapple with high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC 3-5) in Tigray and the neighboring zones of Amhara and Afar. Of these, 2 million people are in Emergency level of acute food insecurity (IPC 4) and without urgent action could quickly slide into starvation.”

It further cautioned the severity of acute food insecurity is expected to increase through September, particularly in Tigray, with over 400 000 people projected to face catastrophic conditions (IPC 5, Catastrophe) without urgent and unhindered aid. AS

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Author : Addis Standard

Publish date : 2021-10-08 06:48:10

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