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Day 57 of war on Tigray: Abiy’s lost credibility



Amid Misinformation and Suppressed Free Speech, Ethiopian Conflict Erodes Abiy’s Credibility  

Abiy’s claims that not a single civilian was killed in the military assault on Tigray were contradicted by desperate testimonials that emerged despite the state’s attempt to impose a total communications blackout across the region. Ample, alarming evidence belies Abiy’s repeated denials of the involvement of Eritrean forces in Ethiopian territory. Journalists are being beaten and harassed, presumably for reporting the truth and sullying the rosy rhetoric from the leadership in Addis Ababa.

This loss of Abiy’s credibility may seem insignificant compared with the numbers killed, wounded, and displaced, but it is grave nonetheless. Ethiopia had long played an important stabilizing role in the region, and it had been emerging as a leading voice on behalf of the continent as a whole in important global discussions. Around the world, leaders embraced the vision of a stable, prosperous, inclusive, and accountable Ethiopia—a state strong enough to stand up for African interests and for shared global norms. But now the international community has reason to doubt the veracity of Abiy’s words and to second-guess his intentions—hardly a solid basis for fruitful partnerships. The cost, calculated in missed opportunities, could be staggering.

Miscellaneous issues

  • Sudan’s Security and Defense Council on Tuesday reiterated concern over the influx of Ethiopian refugees in eastern Sudan and instructed relevant authorities to provide them with necessary care in coordination with humanitarian organizations and the international community. The council praised the efforts made by the armed forces at Sudan’s Al-Fashaga area in defense of the territories and the border.
  • The humanitarian organization ZOA is deeply shocked by the death of a colleague in Tigray. “We confirm with great sadness that our colleague was murdered during the recent conflict while on duty for ZOA in Hitsats Refugee Camp in Tigray,” said Edwin Visser, Chief Programme Officer. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.”  The 52-year-old staff member worked for more than 10 years for ZOA and leaves behind a wife and seven children.ZOA emphasizes that humanitarian workers must be protected at all times and that any form of violence against them is unacceptable.
  • The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) on Tuesday said it is facing a funding shortfall to meet humanitarian needs in Tigray. “Only 56 percent of 1.3 billion U.S. dollars needed to meet humanitarian needs in Tigray regional state have been received,” the UNOCHA said in a report. UNOCHA appealed to humanitarian partners to cover the rest 604 million U.S. dollars needed to comprehensively meet humanitarian needs in Tigray. UNOCHA needs funds to meet the humanitarian needs of more than 2.3 million people.
  • Situation Report EEPA HORN No. 41 – 30 December 2020
  • ሰራዊት ኤርትራ ኣብ ትግራይ ዝርከብ መዓስከራት ስደተኛታት እንታይ እዮም ጌሮም?

Amare is an economist from Tigray. He is interested in behavioral economics, psychology, philosophy and politics.

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