Posts by: Alex DeWaal

There is one simple action that would transform humanitarian access and help provide civilian protection in Tigray. Switch the internet back on.

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During a pandemic of an infectious microbe, the idea that we are at ‘war’ with an ‘invisible enemy’ or ‘invader’ is pervasive. It’s a routine figure of speech for politicians and commentators, even some public health officials. Echoing the elaborate metaphor used for the body’s immune system’s response to an unfamiliar bacterium or virus, the […]

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The number one priority for the people of Tigray is a cessation of hostilities. It’s a precondition for everything else.

We are learning the likely extent of the humanitarian crisis, which is more severe than any in the country for more than 30 years. No significant humanitarian operation is possible without a cessation of hostilities.

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This week, the British Government published its long-awaited integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy.  It’s entitled ‘Global Britain in a Competitive Age.’ In tune with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s fondness for sporting metaphors—being ‘match fit’ and able to ‘punch above our weight’—the Review sees competition as a straightforward fact […]

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I optimistically entitled Chapter 8 of my 2017 book Mass Starvation, ‘Ethiopia: No longer the land of famine.’ I argued that the commitment to famine prevention by the Ethiopian government meant that Ethiopians had escaped from the degrading identification with the images of the starving from the era of LiveAid. At the time when I […]

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A few days ago, Eritrean and Ethiopian troops cut down the mango orchards at Adeba and Tseada on the Zamra river in south-central Tigray. It’s not a massacre, a mass rape or torture. But chopping down those fruit trees is evidence for the war aims of the leaders in Asmara and Addis Ababa.

In a […]

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