In Ethiopia, hopes for peace dwindle again after five months of truce

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A man injured in aerial bombardments, at the Ayder Referral hospital in Makale, in the Ethiopian region of Tigray, on September 14, 2022.

In Ethiopia, peace again seems out of reach. The resumption of hostilities in the north of the country at the end of August shattered five months of truce and launched the third phase of an interminable civil war which since November 2020 has pitted the insurgents of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) against each other. ) to the federal government. While it said it was open to talks a few days ago, the rebel group, in a press release published on Tuesday, September 20, called on every Tigrayan to “to make oneself fully available for total war” which he leads.

For almost a month, the fighting has been raging, the artillery rumbled and the air force struck. US envoy Mike Hammer said he wanted to pursue conciliation efforts at the UN General Assembly, which began in New York on Tuesday, but a secret meeting he had organized in Djibouti in early September failed. reverse the course of things.

Read also: Ethiopia: three UN experts suspect “crimes against humanity” in Tigray

The political sequence of September 14 illustrates what a European diplomat based in Ethiopia describes as fool’s game on both sides ». That day, Ethiopian Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen told a European delegation visiting Addis Ababa that the government is committed to the African Union-led peace process and hopes that the European Union will support efforts to end the conflict peacefully”.

Simultaneously, 500 km further north, air force drones bombed Makalé, the capital of Tigray. The strike killed ten people and injured thirteen others, according to Fasika Amdeslasie, a surgeon at Ayder Referral Hospital in Makalé. Later in the day, on social networks, the Ethiopian embassy in Paris appealed for donations from the diaspora to support the war effort.

Hundreds injured every day

With northern Ethiopia largely inaccessible to the media and humanitarian organizations, the international community is left in limbo. But the violence of the fighting is hardly in doubt. According to humanitarian sources, the clashes leave hundreds of people injured every day. Hospitals and morgues are overflowing.

Read also: In Ethiopia, ten dead in bombings on the capital of the rebel region of Tigray

The role played by theEritrea disrupts the search for a ceasefire. An ally of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and a sworn enemy of the TPLF since the 1998 border war, his army was responsible for countless human rights violations during its occupation of Tigray two years ago. It exists “reasonable grounds to believe that the federal government and allied regional governments [principalement l’Erythrée] have committed and continue to commit crimes against humanity on ethnic grounds”indicates a report intended for the UN Human Rights Council and made public on Monday.

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