In the eyes of the people of Tigray, there is a clear route to peace, but it will require tough decisions, starting with a willingness to accede to the people’s most essential demands.
The suffering of the people of Tigray and neighboring regions is well documented. This war is now strangling the region with what the United Nations calls a “de facto blockade,” a U.N. euphemism for a brutal siege that prevents food aid and medicine from getting to those people—including children—who need it the most.
With 5.2 million out of 6 million people in desperate need of food aid, nearly 83 percent are food insecure, 40 percent are facing extreme lack of food and 900,000 live in a “famine-like” situation. The death toll from this famine, used as a weapon of war, could exceed thousands. Banking and communications services have been shut down. Medicine and other medical supplies are scarce, even for patients needing critical care.
Nor are Tigrayans outside Tigray spared Ethiopian state-led attacks. They face widespread discrimination, persistent threats, and mass incarceration. While some have been released from detention, many, including former peacekeepers and military personnel, are still being held incommunicado. Tens of thousands are in refugee camps in Sudan and other countries, and more than 1.8 million are internally displaced and living in makeshift shelters.