Is Ethiopia on a collision course with European Union?
“The Tigray region is in a serious humanitarian crisis, with almost 1, 850,000 at risk of famine…The Tigray region is being cut from the rest of the world by destroying critical infrastructure and transportation. This could bring the region to a mass famine. We at the European Union, the Commission, will organise an air-bridge to try to bring support to the region.”
Mr Borell went on to explain that this was a massive crisis which was beyond the ability the EU alone to deal with.
Now the Ethiopian authorities appear to have ruled out an air-bridge.
The Ethiopia News Agency reports that:
“The National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) announced that activities to deliver humanitarian assistance to Tigray Region through direct flight or any other means that violates the sovereignty of the country is not permitted.”
This prohibition is in contrast to the situation that prevailed in 1984-85. Then the Ethiopian government permitted the British to use the Royal Air Force to make air drops to the starving.
This was called “Operation Bushel” and is remembered to this day.
It is hard to see why flying aid to the starving would be a “violation of the sovereignty of the country” if Ethiopia gave this idea the go-ahead.
So is Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed apparently blocking a way of saving the lives of thousands?