Ethiopia: UN suspends food distribution over ‘mass looting’

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The World Food Program (WFP) United Nations suspended food distribution in the city Komboltsa, in northern Ethiopia, due to “mass looting” attributed to guerrillas from the province Tigray, announced on Wednesday (08/12) his representative UN.

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“Massive looting of warehouses in Komboltsa in recent days, apparently from elements of its guerrillas Tigray and the local population “, were complained to Komboltsa, city in the countryside Amhara, said o Stefan Duzarik during the daily briefing of accredited authors.

“Large quantities of food, including products intended for malnourished children, have been stolen and looted,” he said, stressing that looting threatens to exacerbate food insecurity in northern Ethiopia, although the amount looted remains to be clarified.

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Attacks on warehouses have led to the disruption of food distribution in cities Desi and Komboltsa, added Mr. Duzarik.

In the provinces Tigray, Amhara and Afar “At the moment, ‘9.4 million people are in critical condition, they need food aid,'” he said, noting the large increase in their number.

THE UN estimates that the number of people in urgent need of food assistance reaches 5.2 million in Tigray, the 534,000 in the province Afar and 3.7 million in Amhara, enumerated Mr. Duzarik.

“Field teams in the field were unable to prevent the looting, as (…) they were confronted with gun threats,” the spokesman said, citing “unacceptable” violence against his staff. UN.

The Ethiopian government recently announced that it has recaptured Desi and Komboltsa, urban centers and crossroads of strategic importance on the road to the capital Addis Ababa. The guerrillas from Tigray For their part, they denied that there was any advance of the federal army, assuring that the areas occupied by it were simply abandoned areas, from which their forces withdrew for tactical reasons.

The war that lasts more than a year in northern Ethiopia broke out in November 2020, when the prime minister Abby Ahmed sent the army to the northern province Tigray to overthrow his local government Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), who defied his authority, after accusing him of attacks against bases of the armed forces.

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