Tigrai Special Force

Is war the only solution left? Tension rises between the Tigrai state and the Federal Government

The Tigray National Regional State accused the federal government of keeping Birr 285 million for the regional safety net program. The fund was supposed to be disbursed in October and will be used for the next three months. However, despite the regional state’s outcry, the federal government has suspended the money.

The Regional Communications Office, in its latest statement released on Thursday, 23 October 2020 entitled ‘The people of Tigray and the regional government will not be succumbed to any measure by a dictatorial and unitary party,’ also accused the federal government of travel restrictions on two Chinese designers who would be involved in the construction of a water project in Mekelle City. The regional government described the decision as a barbaric attempt to deprive the citizens of Mekelle City of clean water.

According to the statement, such repeated steps force the citizens of Tigray to withdraw from the federal system of Ethiopia. The regional state then called on the international community to consider the current situation and to take all appropriate steps.

The argument was downplayed by Haji Ibsa, Director of Information and Communications at the Ministry of Finance.  He said, “There’s nothing officially suspended. What we’re trying to do right now is change the channel. The money will be paid out to the administrations of Weredas, Kebeles and Zonal. Except for our effort to cross-check whether or not the money is being used for the intended reason, there is no improvement.

Although the director downplayed the argument made by the regional state, a letter from the Ministry of Finance dated 20 October 2020 circulated on social media shows that the regional state of Tigray is not among the regional states to obtain protection net finance from the Ministry.

It should be recalled that the House of Federation has decided that the federal government should break down its relationship with the Regional State Assembly of Tigray and the region ‘s highest executive body. The HoF statement also stated that the federal government will continue to collaborate with local organizations in Tigray to provide “essential services” to the city, indicating that the decision did not amount to a complete separation of relations.

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