The declaration of an indefinite humanitarian truce by the government of Ethiopia to facilitate the free flow of humanitarian aid into Tigray region has attracted excitement from both the local and international community as many are heaping praise on the Abiy Ahmed-led government for not relenting on expediting the provision of humanitarian support to those in need in Tigray.

The African Union through the Commission Chairperson, His Excellency, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the UK through its embassy in Ethiopia among others welcomed the decision to scale up access of aid into the northern region of Tigray.

While announcing the humanitarian truce, government said currently thousands of people from Tigray are trekking into neighboring regions in search for assistance. Considering this fact, government said, the situation warrants urgent measures to assist the locals, thus committing to exert maximum effort to facilitate the free flow the the needed aid.

Whereas, the move is good, it is not surprising. It is not new. The Ethiopian government has from the onset of the Tigray conflict initiated and opted for peaceful measures of resolving it – measures that would not harm and cause suffering to the common people.

In June, government declared a Unilateral Ceasefire to stop hostilities to allow farming and access of humanitarian aid in Tigray, only to be rejected by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The terrorist designated group instead opted to fight-on as they killed people, raped women and girls, starved innocent Ethiopians in the area, destroyed property, displaced thousands doubled the use of children in battlefield.

The big questions now are, will the TPLF this time cooperate and reciprocate the decision? Won’t they commandeer vehicles carrying humanitarian aid as previously did? Won’t they forcibly take the distributed assistance from recipients?

It should be noted that TPLF has been working so hard to deny the starving people aid in Tigray in order to blame the federal government of Ethiopia with an aim of attracting international sympathy.

Government in its statement reached out to donors to redouble their generous contributions to alleviate the situation. Hopefully the ‘loopholes’ through which the deliberate starvation done by TPLF are covered.

TPLF does the starvation through interrupting with the flow of humanitarian support into the Northern region, stealing the ready to harvest food and consuming the stockpiled one.

Much as government asked TPLF to desist from acts of aggression and withdraw from areas they have occupied in neighboring regions, I am reliably informed that no signs of such is happening. TPLF still occupy some areas in Afar and Amhara regions.

The fact is TPLF has refused to admit that Ethiopians want a chance to move forward. It had its 27 years and the people are not willing to return to the widespread political repressions, economic as well as social marginalization witnessed during their rule.

After 27 years of its dominance in the nation, TPLF insists Ethiopia will fall apart if “we do not lead it”. Its leaders have insisted on terrorizing civilian communities by saying “if we don’t hold the supremacy, and if it’s necessary, we could go down to hell to disintegrate Ethiopia.”

The continued starvation of the people of Tigray and their suffering is TPLF’s wish since they are convinced that it will attract sympathy from the international community and as well force a negotiated power sharing with the democratically elected Ethiopian government.

The TPLF did not only reject to observe the government declared Unilateral Ceasefire in June, they extended their aggressions to Amhara and Afar where they actually killed thousands and subjected so many others to hunger.

On my journalism call of duty, at the start of this year, I visited the two invaded regions of Ethiopia – Afar and Amhara. When I arrived at Semera Airport in Afar and travelled by road within the region, and later in Dessie and Kombolcha towns in Amhara as I interviewed the locals, I nearly brokedown as they painfully narrated how the disheartening hostilities by TPLF unfolded.

The residents are living in devastating conditions – hunger, starvation and destruction define them.

During TPLF’s occupation in Afar and Amhara, rape of women and girls, vandalizing of education institutions, health facilities and burning down of places of worship was the order of the day. The devastating atrocities took centre stage with impunity.

Surprisingly TPLF and its allies in the media continue to act victim to crimes they themselves committed or aided to commit on the innocent people of Ethiopia.

The declared humanitarian truce is one of the many measures the Ethiopian government has taken and exposed TPLF and its international allies who propagate a narrative that “Ethiopia government is starving its own people” as liars that habour nothing good for Ethiopia.

To claim that the same government that, at will, rooted for a stop of hostilities to allow farming activities and access of humanitarian support in Tigray is starving its own people is illogical, untrue and an act of self-seeking.

If TPLF wanted Tigrayan-Ethiopians to get out of the starvation as they claim, they should have supported all government efforts including the Unilateral Ceasefire and a whole lot of others. Why make all these moves if it wanted to starve Tigrayans?

At some point, despite the risk involved then, the Ethiopian government reduced roadblocks on the road to Tigray from seven to only two with an aim of aiding quick movement of trucks carrying humanitarian aid. In fact, government for some time supplied some food items to the affected people in Tigray. How then can the same government block aid to reach its own people?

Given that background, and the fact that TPLF has not shown any indicators of vacating Amhara and Tigray, it is unlikely that they will cooperate despite committing to observe the humanitarian truce.

Kungu Al-mahadi Adam, the writer, is a Ugandan Journalist with passion for current African Affairs.

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is an experienced Ugandan multimedia Journalist with a background of fact checking and thorough research. He is very passionate about current African affairs particularly Horn of Africa. He... More by Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam

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