International aid organisations will face increasing tensions following the labelling of the TPLF and OLF-Shene as terrorist organisations at the start of May, while the general election in six days time will further exacerbate the situation.
This document provides an analysis of the current situation in Ethiopia and the implications for aid organisations working there.
● The UN has stated that famine is now prevalent in Tigray with at least 350,000 people affected, whilst the US has released 181 million dollars of funding through USAID and is encouraging other donors to support humanitarian relief efforts. The UN are predicting this to be the worst famine the world has seen for 10 years.
● The Ethiopian government’s designation of the TPLF and OLF-Shene as terrorist groups is LIKELY to affect any aid organisation supporting either the groups or those communities associated with them.
● Elections due on 21 June will most LIKELY see Prime Minister Ahmed returned to power. Violence is possible both before and after the elections, though limited credible reporting means assessing the scale and impact of such events will be difficult. Two prominent Oromo parties are boycotting the vote, and severe logistical delays and insecurity across several regions will probably impede voting. This means that many opposition groups are LIKELY to perceive the vote as illegitimate, which some have already labelled a ‘sham’. Protests around the vote will probably escalate into unrest, as well as bouts of communal violence in Oromia including Addis Ababa.
● Aid programs should aim to be as transparent as possible to all parties, as part of conflict resolution measures, and ensure staff in the field are both resilient and experienced.