Ethiopian rebels loot US aid stores, US official says

NAIROBI, Kenya – Fighters in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region loot food stores holding US government aid as the Ethiopian civil war spr...


NAIROBI, Kenya – Fighters in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region loot food stores holding US government aid as the Ethiopian civil war spreads to new areas and hunger rises across the country , accused the highest official of American aid.

Tigrayan fighters leading a military assault on neighboring Amhara region have destroyed villages and emptied aid stores, Sean Jones, USAID chief in Ethiopia, told Ethiopian State TV in a broadcast interview. Tuesday evening.

“In recent weeks, some of our warehouses have been looted and emptied by advancing TPLF troops, especially in Amhara,” Jones said, referring to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray. “I think TPLF has been very opportunistic.”

A TPLF spokesperson denied the accusation and blamed any looting on local groups and individuals in Amhara.

Mr Jones’ remarks reflect a noticeable change in tone from senior US officials after months of harsh criticism of the behavior of Ethiopian forces and their allies inside Tigray, where a war that erupted in November s ‘is accompanied by accusations of atrocities against civilians.

Soon, she added, the aid workers would have nothing to distribute.

Ethiopian critics reacted angrily to Ms Power’s comments, accusing her of “Military aid” and “support for terrorism. “

But her subordinate’s interview in Ethiopia this week set a more conciliatory tone, suggesting the Americans were reaching out to the Ethiopians, hoping to defuse the animosity.

While acknowledging “some tension and stress” with the United States, Jones stressed his good relations with Ethiopian officials, called his government “one of our most valuable and important partners. “and likened any tension to a marital dispute.

“Sometimes, like in a good marriage, we have to say how we feel at that moment,” he said.

These remarks aroused the anger of the TPLF, underlining the very big diffculty to maintain good relations with the two parties to the Ethiopian conflict.

On Twitter, top TPLF spokesperson Getachew Reda lambasted America’s characterization of its fighters as opportunists and blamed local forces for any looting in Amhara.

“While we cannot guarantee all unacceptable behavior by off-grid combatants in such cases, we have evidence that this looting is primarily orchestrated by local individuals and groups,” M. Reda wrote.

Amid strife, the war in Tigray spreads and humanitarian needs skyrocket.

Ethiopian government says it needs aid for 500,000 people in Amhara and Afar regions, where fighting spread in July after Tigray fighters recaptured most of Tigray from government forces.

But the crisis is most urgent in Tigray, where at least five million people need immediate assistance and about 900,000 are at risk of starving to death, according to estimates by US officials.

After months of attacks on farmers, often by Ethiopian and allied forces, much of this year’s harvest has failed and aid workers have predicted crushing famine from this month.

But little help arrives.

On August 25, the Ethiopian government said 318 trucks of aid had reached Tigray since July. But aid groups say at least 100 trucks must make this trip every day to avoid disaster.

On Tuesday, the World Food Program warned that its stocks in Tigray had “become dangerously low”, although large amounts of aid were in warehouses in neighboring Afar province, apparently awaiting clearance from the Ethiopia to move.

“We have teams here in Tigray ready to distribute it,” a World Food Program official said in a video posted on Twitter. “We just need the supplies to arrive now. “



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Newsrust - US Top News: Ethiopian rebels loot US aid stores, US official says
Ethiopian rebels loot US aid stores, US official says
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