June 10, 2023

Ministry of the Cabinet of Ukraine announcement It recently reimbursed the governments of Ethiopia and neighboring Somalia for about $11.4 million worth of wheat, Mogadishu’s Shabelle media reported on Tuesday.

The Kyiv Independent, a pro-government Ukrainian outlet, Report That Saturday Ethiopia will get 50,000 metric tons of wheat for free, Translation The official statement from the Ministry of Cabinet seems to be based on Shabelle media reports as well.

The shipments appear to be part of a plan to export Ukrainian wheat, on which much of Africa and the Middle East depend, orchestrated by the UN agency World Food Program (WFP). As Ukraine is communicating with WFP, which is chartering the cargo ship, the extent of cooperation between Ukraine and recipient countries remains unclear.

Ukraine’s grain crops and shipments have been in jeopardy for months following an expansion of Russia’s eight-year-old invasion in February. After Russia illegally colonized Ukraine’s Crimea region and began supporting pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Donbass region in 2014, Russian leader Vladimir Putin announced a dramatic increase in Russian military involvement in the country in February, claiming that Ukraine has “no heritage”. A sovereign state and “entirely created by Russia.”

While the Western media has invested heavily in covering the Ukrainian war, it has done relatively little to cover Ethiopia’s brutal civil war, which observers say has been an act of ethnic cleansing and possible genocide, including the siege and starvation of about 6 million people in the country’s Tigray region. people

A complete shutdown of infrastructure, imports and communications in Tigray and beyond, induced by Eritrea, has been condemned by UN experts as a very real possibility of famine.

The leader of Ethiopia’s attack and possible genocide in Tigray, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. His award was not revoked in light of his calls for war against the Tigray people – and more specifically, the former ruling Marxist political party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – or widespread reports of atrocities committed by Ethiopian forces.

In addition to the civil war, both Ethiopia and Somalia are suffering from food shortages as a result of severe drought, which has made this year’s harvest insufficient. The United Nations did approx 22 people in the Horn of Africa region, where the countries are located, are at risk of starvation

Ukrainian authorities sure A ship carrying 30,000 tons of wheat leaves for Ethiopia this weekend.

“The bulk carrier Ikaria Angel, chartered by the United Nations World Food Program, sailing under the flag of Panama, carrying 30,000 tons of wheat, left this morning from the port of Chornomorsk to the port of Djibouti, through which the humanitarian goods reached the African region. “state outlet Ukrainform reported on Saturday. .

Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, Oleksandr Kubrakov, told state outlets that Ukraine was sending grain to that country to avoid a “food disaster.”

Shabelle media reported on Tuesday that Ukraine would not pay for about $11.4 million worth of wheat from Ethiopia, possibly after the Abiy government or Somalia promised to refund them. The compensation is significant because of Abi’s ties to the Russian government. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently visited Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. JuneReceived a warm reception, although there is no vocal support for the war in Ukraine.

Russia has invested heavily in diplomacy with African countries, especially those that have maintained friendly relations with the Soviet Union. Ukrainian officials have had little success in penetrating the region to find support. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly spent months persuading the African Union to address its leaders, and when he finally secured a video chat in June, only four heads of state tuned in live, forcing their underlings to listen instead. According to To the French press Lee Monde.

Lee Monde Chats with anonymous diplomats familiar with Ukraine’s efforts revealed that African leaders seemed interested in a basis of contact with the country.

“I don’t know exactly what he expects from us, but our priority is to supply grain and fertiliser,” said an anonymous diplomat. The French newspaper observed that the comment was almost identical to an earlier one made by Senegalese President Macky Sall regarding the Russian invasion: “We are not really debating who is right and who is wrong. We just want to get grain and fertilizer.”

The first ship to leave Ukraine for Ethiopia docked in Djibouti, a small country bordering Ethiopia, in late August.

According to WFP, Ethiopia has 7.4 million people front Another 13 million are facing a lack of access to food due to the ongoing drought and “severe hunger”. Neither the Ukrainian government’s statement nor the African report on the free grain indicated whether WFP would be in charge of distributing the food once it arrived in Ethiopia, or whether Abir’s government would control it, but past shipments. reached At WFP warehouses in Ethiopia outside the Tigray region.

Tigray, where the worst food crisis is believed to be occurring, is not guaranteed access; UN officials have regularly complained of a lack of access to the region. The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus – an ethnic Tigrayan and TPLF member – told reporters that Ethiopia would not even allow him to send food or money to his own family.

“I will tell you my own story. I have many relatives there. I want to send them money. I can’t send them money. They are hungry, I know. I can’t help them,” Tedros said in August. “I can’t because they’re completely closed. I want to talk to them. It’s been a long time since I talked to them. I can’t talk to them. Who I don’t even know who is dead or alive.”

Tedros has repeatedly argued that the struggle in Ukraine is more racist than that of Tigray.

Follow Frances Martell on Facebook And Twitter.

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