By Faith Nyasuguta
Troops from the Tigray region in Ethiopia have looted the humanitarian warehouses of the US government in the neighboring Amhara state, the mission chief has said.
Tigray rebels are yet to respond to the allegations. The USAID boss in Ethiopia told a state broadcaster that the rebels had cleared the warehouses, taking food among other aid items. They further stole trucks.
The head confirmed they had caused “a great deal of destruction” in the villages they had gone into.
“We know for a fact… that the TPLF (Tigray People’s Liberation Front), every town they’ve gone into they looted the warehouses, they’ve looted trucks, they’ve caused a great deal of destruction in all the villages they visited and it’s a great concern for humanitarians,” Sean Jones, head of the USAID mission in Ethiopia, told Ethiopian state television EBC.
“I do believe that TPLF has been very opportunistic. Maybe they are stealing from citizens, we don’t have proof of this.
He added, “What we do have proof of is that several of our warehouses have been looted and completely emptied in the areas, particularly Amhara, the TPLF soldiers have gone into.”
Last week, Amhara officials pointed fingers at Tigrayan forces over the destruction of learning institutions, hospitals and the murder of 40 civilians.
Tigray rebel forces, who have been fighting state troops for 10 months, have extended the original war past their home grounds into neighboring Afar and Amhara areas.
They have recently formed an alliance with a rebel group in the nation’s largest state of Oromia, a move that has shaken a huge chunk of the nation.
7000 SCHOOLS DESTROYED IN TIGRAY WAR
Meanwhile, the ongoing war has pushed over 1.42 million students out of school and destroyed over 7,000 schools, according to Ethiopia’s education minister.
Getahun Mekuria highlighted that even the Amhara and Afar regions had also been affected since fighting had spread to the regions.
So far, hundreds of Amhara and Afar schools have been vandalized in the conflict of the last few months, he added. The majority of infrastructure has also been damaged during the 10 month period.
At the moment, thousands have been killed with millions facing displacement as hundreds of thousands seek humanitarian aid.