By Medihane Ekubamichael @Medihane
Addis Ababa, May 12, 2021 – Abebe Gebrehiwot, Deputy Head of the Interim Administration of Tigray gave an interview to the state-run media Tigray TV which was conducted on May 10, 2021. In the interview he discussed a range of issues related to crisis in Tigray, these ranged from problems facing the agricultural sector, the situation of the IDP, issues related to territorial disputes and the flag of the region and the nature of the humanitarian response to the crisis in Tigray.
The deputy chief discussed the issues facing the agricultural sector and projected a devastating effect if farmers miss this rainy season. Abebe explained that there is a need to focus on the agricultural sector which needs seeds, fertilizers and equipment for cultivation and land preparation. According to Abebe, the administration is working to secure tractors that will allow it to cultivate about 15,000 hectares of land through initiatives involving young people. He explained that public support is needed to achieve agricultural goals, he said “If people, young people can’t support us on this and if the farmer can’t benefit from this rainy season, he will leaving Tigray in a difficult condition to survive. “
When discussing the issue of seeds needed for agriculture, he said “Thankfully, the regional state of Oromia has donated 5,000 quintals of seed, while USAID has provided 22,000 quintals. World is assisting and the Acacia Transport Agency will cover the rest ”
On the issue of fertilizers he explained that the required amount will be secured through a loan, but said, “We have less than a month time for the start of the farming season and if we are not supporting each other, we can we face problems with the distribution of fertilizers similar to the distribution of food aid. ”
“Unfortunately, this campaign came from some irresponsible bodies within the law enforcement task force who want to pursue their personal interest.”
Abebe Gebrehiwot, Deputy Head of Tigray Interim Administration
The deputy chief pointed out that anti-farming campaigns are becoming another challenge for Tigray farmers and agriculture. Abebe Gebrehiwot, Deputy Head of Tigray’s Interim Administration, in a recent interview on Tigray TV revealed that especially in Shire, Temben and Hawzen corridor areas, there are emerging bodies banning farming and claiming areas. “Unfortunately, this campaign came from some irresponsible bodies within the law enforcement task force that want to pursue their personal interest,” Abebe said.
News Analysis: Tigray’s Interim Agriculture and Development head warns of impending famine in coming years
Abebe also explained that they had to go through an intense situation while transporting seed aid to farmers as the passage was denied on its route around Qobo before resolving the issue.
The deputy chief explained that if the farmer is not allowed to leave the farm, and the seeds are not being delivered due to a denial of passage, the result will be starvation. “These two incidents that appeared to supplement each other have no other message than to leave the Tigray people starving to death,” he said. He also pointed out that large agricultural lands in Humera and Raya had to be cultivated but the situation in these areas along with a blockage of seed transport is exacerbating the problems.
The deputy head of the interim administration concluded by emphasizing the importance of supporting each other to overcome the problems facing the Tigray people by remaining in solidarity with the Tigrayans regardless of any political differences. It said, “It will help farmers make use of the rainy season.”
During the 22-minute interview broadcast on state-run television, he described the IDP situation in Tigray and its consequences indicating that the IDP situation came after the start of war or conflict that led to a huge influx of IDPs to drown from parts of the country.
According to Abebe, areas that serve as reception centers for IDPs include Shire, Axum, Adwa, Abiy Adi, Adigrat and Mekelle, he also explained that the entire region is caused by an IDP situation. “It runs from the west to the Central Tigray, on the outskirts of Mekelle, Samre, Neqsege, Wajirat, Ofla and extends to areas of Chercher. When we climb to Alitena, Atsbi and around Hawzen. That means wherever a fight has taken place, people have been displaced, “he said. He explained that displacement is created on purpose, causing people to move to cities with the intention of saving their lives,” When you look at the the conflict calendar, created a displacement of people by putting an emotional attack on people leading to enormous fear and frustration that displacement created, ”
“This means that there are efforts to make the situation beyond the capacity of the interim administration.”
According to Abebe another alarming issue that needs attention, is the situation of West Tigray IDPs that seems deliberate to grab the administration’s attention and disrupt its work. He explained that it is an agenda in which people are forcibly moved from places where they have lived for centuries. He said, “The IDPs we visited protected in schools included injured children.” He went on to explain that the capacity of IDP reception centers has exceeded its intended numbers, “In Shire hosting IDPs have exceeded our capacity while continuing to flood the streets,” he continues, “This means that efforts are being made to take the situation beyond the capacity of the interim administration. “He expressed concern that with the onset of the rainy season, the IDP population is prone to dangerous infections such as cholera; and other waterborne diseases.
According to Abebe, displacement cases have become a general issue of Tigray and based on current projections, 1.7 – 2.1 million people are estimated to have been displaced. He concluded this segment of the interview by emphasizing the role that the Tigray people are playing in supporting each other despite the situation in the region, he also expressed disappointment for the IDP situation in the south of the Tigray, one of the least affected areas, “Surprisingly, South Tigray, which is considered better, now has an IDP problem, around Michew, Adi Shoho.”
Response to the humanitarian crisis in the Tigray
Discussing the international and local response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Tigray, the deputy head of the interim administration said, “The international community must respond to this situation and it must be known that the the Tigray people especially from the West Tigray are being deliberately displaced, “He continued,” What’s worse is our knowledge that older monks are also being evacuated from the Waldeba monastery and forcing them to make trips in the vicinity of Shire and Mai Tsebri. “He complained that the political process in the region has failed in its responsibilities.
The Deputy Chief said while speaking about pressure from unspecified groups, “The interim administration is being deliberately tasked with agendas and is being forced to focus only on an issue of IDPs, ignoring the services sector. public or weaken the sector, “he continued,” We want the people of Tigray to understand the obstacles facing the interim administration. ”
According to Abebe, the mandate of an interim administration is to execute administrative matters, to initiate a process to build peace and ensure stability, to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid and to restore functioning government in the region. He re-emphasized the importance of supporting the people, he said, “The pressure comes first from the ongoing conflict and the security apparatus involved in guerrilla warfare in almost all woredas. This ongoing fighting has resulted in the displacement of many people. “He also highlighted the efforts by the interim administration in setting up shelters for protected IDPs to allow the start of school. However, he explained that in Shhire, with the IDP population reaching 400,000, the providing adequate shelter has become difficult and has highlighted efforts made with USAID’s help to set up temporary shelters to accommodate at least 80,000 IDPs.
The deputy chief complained about the humanitarian response and said, “The humanitarian response in general is not so strong,” However, he pointed out that the Samaritan Purse and the IOM provided shelter while also emphasizing the support of -USAID, including with the help of food for 3.8 million people. He also highlighted the role of other aid organizations such as Save the Children and CRS.
He concluded with regard to the response to the humanitarian crisis, “The proportion to the situation in the Tigray responses are very minimal, for example the response to the situation of IDPs is 15%. For this reason, we are working to remove 258 million ETBs from a previous Safety Net program that was changed to address the issue of IDPs and is also being done in collaboration with the World Bank. “
Dispute over the West Tigray border
In connection with the territorial issues of the West Tigray, the Deputy Chief explained that the Federal government is constitutionally mandated to resolve such issues and stressed that there have been efforts by the Federal government to address this issue. He said he would answer questions related to the issue, “The decisions are known, the aggressors have repeatedly been told to withdraw but execution is lagging behind due to the incompleteness of the‘ law enforcement operation ’and other important tasks that need immediate attention. ” He reiterated that the interim administration is only responsible for administering.
“If anyone wants to decide on the flag, it must be the people. This flag represents Tigray and its people, not TPLF and no one can give us a conference about our flag and its history. “
Tigray Regional Flag
The Deputy Chief regarding the official Tigray flag considered by some as the TPLF flag explained that despite a change in administration, Tigray is part of Ethiopia and entitled to choose a flag that represents Tigray and its people. , He explained that the current flag was raised through endless sacrifices by the Tigray people. The deputy chief said, “If anyone wants to decide on the flag it has to be the people. This flag represents Tigray and its people, not TPLF and no one can give us a conference about our flag and its history. “
Earlier this year, the interim administration The head of the Bureau of Agricultural Development Abadi Girmay (PhD) discussed in an interview about the need for the start of Tigray farming by the beginning of this year. the rainy season and warned of “unprecedented danger” in the next 3 to 4 years if the agricultural sector does not recover. He also detailed the damage caused by the war in the region to the agricultural sector, the challenges faced by farmers and current agricultural activities in the region and the efforts the administration is trying to reduce the danger to Tigray. is facing with regard to food security. AS