The Economist accused the government in Ethiopia that it is using hunger as a “weapon” into submission
January 24, 2021
All was well in the Tigray reign of Ethiopia until the party that governs the region, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) attacked the northern command of the Ethiopian Defense Force in early November triggering a war with the latter.
In a span of three weeks, the full-fledged war for which TPLF mobilized over 250,000 troops was concluded. And it was TPLF that lost it.
The humanitarian crisis, as is the case with any conflict and war situation, was unavoidable in the region. The transitional administration established after the war admitted that damages to infrastructures complicated delivery of food aid and medical supplies where it is needed.
It also said, this week, that the regional administration is coordinating with the Federal government to address emergency food aid. More than 1.5 million people in the region have already benefited from it and that the administration is working on to deliver assistance to another 2.5 million people. Those who are trying to paint a grim picture of government effort in addressing the humanitarian condition do have their own political agenda, head of the transitional administration, Dr, Mulu Nega, told reporters, as reported by state-owned media.
However, the pictures being depicted in international media outlets tell different stories, and often misrepresent the situation on the ground to provide their readers (and policymakers too) with distorted accounts.
The latest distorted media coverage from The Economist. It used headlines that implicate the Ethiopian government for the humanitarian crisis and “hunger” in the region.
“It looks as if hunger is being used as a weapon in Africa’s second-most-populous nation. And once again the scene of the horror is Tigray,” said The Economist in its latest report about Ethiopia.
Ethiopia State of Emergency Fact Check, a body established after the outbreak of the war to provide information about the law enforcement operation in the Tigray region, noted the serious allegation that the Economist made.
On January 23, 2021, ESTFC wrote a letter to The Economist in reaction to the report. The letter said, “The Government of Ethiopia condemns in the strongest of terms the accusation that it is using ‘hunger as a weapon’ “.
The report also got reaction from Ethiopian activists and politicians even in the opposition quarters. It seems the case that a considerable number of Ethiopians believe that the media in the west are targeting Ethiopia in what they understand to be an effort to resuscitate TPLF from political death.
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