Addis Ababa October 4/2022 /ENA/ Some foreign aid organizations and the media have been playing a destructive role in the escalation and prolongation of the conflict in northern Ethiopia, scholars claimed.
A panel discussion on international actors and civil conflicts in Africa: the case of Ethiopia’s conflict in the northern part, was held today.
Papers were presented on humanitarian aid, intervention of humanitarian aid organizations, and the media in the conflict.
Addis Ababa University College of Social Sciences Dean, Debebe Ero said some humanitarian aid organizations have directly or indirectly played destructive role.
Although humanitarian aid organizations must maintain the international principle of humanity, independence and neutrality, they have failed to abide by these principles, he stated.
There are quite a lot of humanitarian aid organizations that are operating in the northern part of the country, Debebe noted, adding that there is a huge flow of resources but it is subject to investigation, whether the resource is properly used or not.
“Properly reaching the needy community needs to be questioned too. Are they (humanitarian organizations) properly distributing the aid to all the affected regions — Afar, Amhara and Tigray? What is the focus of the humanitarian aid organizations?” he asked.
The scholar further pointed out that the government cannot say no to humanitarian support, but it has to strategize by keeping national sovereignty and the interest of the people at the heart, and strategically distribute whenever possible.
“In fact, for this government to go and distribute humanitarian aid to every conflict affected area would be something that requires a level of cooperation with the opposing party.”
Addis Ababa University School of Journalism and Communication lecturer, Samson Mekonnen pointed out on his part that some international media are serving the national interest of their respective countries.
“The international media context is completely abused by politics and economy,” the scholar said, adding that “Western countries use the media as a key tool to implement their foreign intervention policies.”
Co-founder and Director of the Horn Review, Bethlehem Mehari said on her part that foreign actors have been pressurizing Ethiopia, following the conflict in the northern part of the country.
“We cannot say that we don’t need relief and development aid. We can, however, develop our own capacity to manage our own crisis and build our institutions to be able to address more problems at the same time,” she elaborated.
Founded in 2021, Horn Review is a premier research and publication think-tank dedicated to exploring and amplifying African voices with a goal of interlinking subject matter experts, practitioners, and academics from Ethiopia, Horn of Africa, and the African continent.