US genocide expert to press Ethiopia on Tigray aid blockade
The U.S. official who wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning book on genocide is visiting Ethiopia next week to press the government to lift what the U.S. calls a blockade on humanitarian aid to the conflict-hit Tigray region
Share this story on:-
NAIROBI, Kenya -- The U.S. official who wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning book on genocide is visiting Ethiopia next week to press the government to lift what the U.S. calls a blockade on humanitarian aid to the conflict-hit Tigray region, where hundreds of thousands of people now face deadly famine.
Samantha Power, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, hopes to meet with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has asserted that “there is no hunger in Tigray,” and with senior officials who blame the aid blockade on rival Tigray forces who have retaken much of the region and vow to pursue “enemies” beyond its borders.
The Ethiopian government’s assertion that Tigray forces are to blame is “100% not the case,” a senior USAID official told The Associated Press, adding that “our primary obstacle is the government.” The official was not authorized to discuss the matter by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. Witnesses have told the AP this has been the problem in Tigray for months.
While the senior official said insecurity preventing movement along roads could be an issue, “what we’re seeing is (aid) convoys being turned around at checkpoints manned by Ethiopian soldiers or their proxies ... It’s not a question of being turned around by Tigrayans. I think (the Tigray forces) have been messaging very clearly they’re ready to support humanitarian activities.”