Angel Olaran claims that they are still waiting for the first truck with humanitarian aid

Although the implementation of the articles accepted in the peace agreement was agreed in mid-November at the meeting held in South Africa earlier this month between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Angel Olaran claims that they are still waiting for the first truck with humanitarian aid.

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, welcomed the agreement, and its spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, indicated in the middle of the month through a United Nations communiqué that both parties must act urgently to make the standard operational. Guterres reiterated the readiness of the UN “to support this critical process” and called on the parties “to move forward urgently” with the objective of “translate the agreement into concrete improvements for civilians on the ground, including the acceleration of the facilitation of humanitarian access and the restoration of essential services”.

Two trucks with medical supplies arrived in Tigray. The first international aid shipment to the region since the Ethiopian federal government and Tigrayan forces agreed to a ceasefire. However, the missionary Angel Olaran claims in this publication that they are still waiting for the first truck with humanitarian aid. 

The International Committee of the Red Cross or ICRC convoy delivered 40 tons of “essential items, emergency medicines and surgical equipment” in Mekelle, capital of Tigray, according to an ICRC statement. Until this delivery, no aid had entered Tigray by road since late August.

Written for Angel Olaran

Today, November 8, it has been 6 days since the peace agreement was signed in South Africa, which stresses that humanitarian aid is of the utmost urgency, even in its timely implementation, given the precarious food situation of almost every family in Tigray. There is no record of any truck on its way to Tigray with this aid. To this date, many Tigrayans have died because the poor nutrition prevented the effect of the prescribed medication.

Due to the lack of electricity for many months throughout Tigray, the five people from Wukro who were receiving dialysis treatment in the hospital in Makelle have died. We supported all five of them financially: there were those with one treatment: 2,500 birr and those who needed two with 5,000 birr. I imagine that the same thing has happened to all those in need of this service throughout Tigray.

As of today, Tuesday (November 8), authorities from the national government and Tigray are meeting in Nairobi to negotiate the implementation of the articles accepted in South Africa. It seems that this coming Saturday they will let us know the different modalities for the implementation of the rights to which we do not have any access to, in addition to the right to food.

There is no doubt that the PM will be pleased with the overwhelming result in terms of the agendas negotiated in South Africa. Virtually all of them came from his parliament. One wonders if, among the issues presented by the TPLF for negotiation at that meeting, genocide and the referendum had been on the agenda, such a meeting would have taken place.

In the face of so much horror, massacre of innocents, destruction. . . not even the famous “tears” of Nero at the destruction of Rome, where he also had a scapegoat: the Christians. The more than 600,000 civilian dead, ignored – not even a word of repentance, of forgiveness.

Teka, one of our employees who returned to work two days ago after returning from the Desa front, about 20 km from Wukro, told me that the Eritrean and Afar armies had tried to enter Makelle on 3 occasions and on all 3 they had to desist, adding that in two of them there were many, with regret, he insisted, many soldiers from the other side who died, for a few of ours – according to the wind, from Wukro we could hear the explosions of the bombs. This is the reality told to us by those arriving from different fronts. They had planned, once again, to take Makelle on all four sides, the last one coinciding with the dates of the negotiations in South Africa. During the negotiations the hostilities did not cease, since, according to him, he had controlled most of the Tigray. This was the third failed seizure of Makelle, since the first one scheduled for September 12 this year – on 02-01-2015 according to the Tigrayan calendar -.

This past week, Abba Sabu and I commented that Tigrayan ethnicity is in some way special. In this state of war for two years, with this long litany of brutalities: famine; lack of access to hospitals; burned fields; two million internally displaced persons, with the clothes on their backs, without any help in most cases, taken in by people with as much hardship as themselves; rapes, genocide-level deaths – families with several members killed on their doorsteps. On occasions like this, women could be heard complaining on camera, saying: “We cannot be ONE among them (referring to the Ethiopian or Eritrean invading forces). A society that has lived through such a catastrophe without the security of any kind of police, of any kind of protection, even two years later, remains at the highest civic levels. It is this condition that has motivated many thousands of young Tigrayans, of both sexes, to join the Tigrayan defense force. With all due respect to the police force, if societies such as the one mentioned above abounded, the need for their service would be reduced to a minimum.

In spite of the reduced traffic on the streets due to lack of fuel, between horse-drawn carts, wheelbarrows full of fruits, tuc-tucs (motorcycles), minibosses, cars, some trucks, bicycles, as well as pedestrians, there are never lack of traffic jams; however, there are no traffic jams: everyone gets out of them without making bad faces, shouting or insults. At noon today in Makelle, in this kind of traffic jam, without any police, everything remained in about 5 cars honking a couple of times: it was annoying to get on your nerves.

Against this historical background, one would say that the South African agreement “demobilization and reintegration considering the needs of law and order in Tigray” is unnecessary. At the local level, even given all the restrictions imposed on society, we have never felt helpless in terms of law and order.

Kubrom, a young soldier from Adwa, this peace agreement has caught him in Wukro, where he is recovering from some shrapnel that entered his right arm, giving him a very bad infection. Like all the young men who, due to minor wounds, have passed through a hospital near our house, they are not “battle-accountants” and look what they have to say! When I asked him how many members were in his group and if he knew how many had died, he told me that the group had 70 members, and that in his group 3 had died on different occasions. He commented that, if the one who died was close to you, instead of getting cold feet, you get an adrenaline rush. As if horrified, he told me that the soldiers they face carry with them the aniseed mentioned and that if they are wounded or nervous they drink, get out of control and are “cannon fodder”. He also told me that, when these soldiers flee, in order to go lighter they throw out whatever may prevent them from running faster, and some of what they throw out is food, which the soldiers take advantage of because it is much better than theirs. In this state of cease-fire, in some of the fronts members of the two armies have met to have a drink together. Ours were given better boots and food. In one of these meetings, a TV channel showed the exchange of soldiers killed in action to be buried: 2 Tigrayans for 250 from the other side.

Market prices

Since the beginning of the negotiations in South Africa, the market has seen a significant reduction in the prices of all types of goods, from foodstuffs to fuel: flour from 170 birr kg to 35 birr kg. Fuel from 400 birr liters to 180 birr liters.

The banks are still closed, as are all other services, including the telephone.

Meeting in Nairobi – Kenya

This past week the two parties: national government and Tigrayan met in Nairobi to organize the details of the implementation of each negotiated issue, insisting on the urgency of the arrival of humanitarian aid, accompanied by appropriate health personnel. The date of the cease-fire – widely welcomed by the population – has become effective.

Today, November 17, two Red Cross trucks loaded with medicines arrived in Makelle. Not a single truck with humanitarian aid has arrived. None of the mother institutions (UN, EU etc) involved in the aid seems to be bothered by it. Perhaps the concept of urgency, in case of urgency, has not been explained in detail: how urgent can urgency be? If with food, considered of major importance, urgency, for no reason they have already delayed 15 days, what will happen when it comes to opening banks, internet, regional borders . . .?

Even the UN plane is not allowed to enter Makelle. It entered one day about 3 weeks ago after having been 45 days without permission to do so; and since then until today. To admire the indifference of the UN and the like!

My vitals

BP: 12-8; pulse: 60, oxygen 98%.

I have regained 6 kilos and am still in line for recovery.

Between the Prime Minister and his parliamentarians

To the question of a parliamentarian of his party about his change of attitude towards the Tigrayan terrorists by negotiating with them, he replied that: he himself called them terrorists, but now he considers them Ethiopians with all their rights. And that the same parliamentarians can address them in those terms.

On the other hand, the Prime Minister also feels obliged to change his attitude towards them, if he wants to receive the 70 billion dollar aid so necessary for the Ethiopian economy. Will it have something to do with: “African solutions for African problems”?

If the solution has been so simple from the beginning, who will answer for so many crimes against humanity, crimes against humanity and war crimes?

We have been given, through the back door, 75 kg of flour, one liter of oil, and 4 kg of something else, per person, to 62 people, including the members of the community, as well as the employees.

Otherwise, well – what less with this latest news!

A big hug.


Next post

You can read the subsequent publication: Tigray continues to wait for essential services and humanitarian aid to be restored, in which the missionary Angel Olaran is hopeful because “there is the pleasant news that to Mekelle have arrived some 10 trucks, although it was expected that they had already been more than, even many more”.

Make a donation!