The deteriorating security situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region is “not a crisis” but “a catastrophe”, erupts US aid chief Samantha Power

The deteriorating security situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region is “not a crisis” but “a catastrophe”, US aid chief Samantha Power said on Monday.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, who now leads the U.S. Agency for International Development, gives an opening statement at her U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, DC, U.S., March 23, 2021. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS 
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, who now leads the U.S. Agency for International Development, gives an opening statement at her U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, DC, U.S., March 23, 2021. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS

Power, who is the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), warned once again that 5.2 million people in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, are “in desperate need for food assistance.”

In a tweet, Power also said that while violence is “rampant,” rape by militants remains widespread.

“There are 6 M ppl in #Tigray. 5.2 M are in desperate need of food assistance. Violence is rampant. Rape by militants widespread. Famine looms. It is not a crisis; it is a catastrophe,” she said.

Her tweet, she added, came ahead of “several crucial meetings today to press Govt of #Ethiopia to unblock aid and end conflict.”

Power has been vocal in calling for an end to the conflict in Ethiopia and has repeatedly urged the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to allow humanitarian access into the region.

But Abiy Ahmed has ignored such calls by the United States and others and has continued to pursue war rather than the peace his Nobel Peace Prize was meant to achieve in the region.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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