Starvation as a weapon of war against the Tigray is strictly forbidden in the Bible

The use of starvation by Ethiopia against the people of Tigray is immoral and against Christian values

Is it reasonable to starve your enemy? At this time the United Nations and members of the African Union are calling upon the Ethiopian government and allied militia of the Amhara state to stop the intended blockage of food aid to Tigray which has resulted in dangerous ongoing famine for millions especially children. There are those promoting starvation of the Tigray region saying that it will weaken them and bring fighting to an end sooner. The Bible in both the New and Old Testament specifically forbids this practice. Classic Judeo-Christian values sees violence to easily become a self propagating recycling of increasing harm to the parties involved. 

I have previously written about the recognized justifications of both Islam and Christianity for a just war and how the Tigray Defense Force for the most part has met and exceeded this criteria. Additionally I did say that there was an argument that Christ calls for complete pacifism as the only way to go.  Which of these is correct has been controversial for centuries?

Now I am going to write about justification from the point of view of the Ethiopian government and recent statements by the President of the Amhara region that what they are doing is a holy war.

In the Old Testament in Proverb 25:21-22 it says
“If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.”
Here the burning coals recalls an Egyptian expiation ritual, during which a guilty person, as a sign of repentance, carried a basin of glowing coals on his head. Meeting violence and hate with charity and generosity stops this escalation of harm.

This message is repeated by Saint Paul in Romans 12 where he writes:
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

As I have previously written, invoking Jesus name to commit clearly forbidden acts is a form of blasphemy so severe that it is recognized as the sole unforgiveable sin.

Report from Mekelle: Starvation, no health care, no power, and blockade August 19,2021

Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital campus of Mekelle University

Every once in a while I receive audio communication from Mekelle. This was a summary of what they told me of the situation on August 19,2021. Starvation, lack of healthcare, and the continuing blockade to help the situation continue.

Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital of Mekelle University
This is normally the tertiary hospital for Tigray and surrounding regions having a catchment area of about 10 million. It is part of the second largest medical school, research center, and training center for medical specialties in Ethiopia. Although civil non-violent actions stopped complete destruction of the hospital by Eritrean and Ethiopian National Defense Forces the hospital now is almost at a standstill.  Having no antibiotics, no insulin, no cancer medications, cardiac medications, working ICU, no c-section or blood transfusion for delivery, no ambulance service the population of Tigray has been rendered to having essentially without healthcare. No laboratory equipment, x-ray machine, anesthesia machines work anywhere in Tigray. From smaller hospitals most of the equipment was taken as war booty to Eritrea. Many hospital were ransacked and bombarded by artillery. There is very little diesel available to run the hospital generator.

Currently the hospital being overwhelmed with many patients lying in hall ways with starvation victims. Children especially are the most vulnerable so they make the majority of victims. There are outbreaks also of COVID-19 and other viral diseases because no immunizations are available. Recent outbreaks of rabies have occurred because hungry vicious dogs are roaming the streets. Ayder has no rabies treatment available. There is only few intravenous bags left and those are being used to try to help infant and child victims of starvation. There is now a World Health Organization team in place to assess and assist but their pleas for help are ignored by the Ethiopian government.

Everyday more victims of abuse both male and female are coming to the hospital for counseling and care. High numbers of families are disconnected from others trying to find their loved ones.

The staff and physicians of the hospital and university have not been paid for three months. The food supply is gradually deteriorating and is much worse in the countryside. Ethiopia blocked planting and killed livestock during the occupation of Mekelle. Stores of seeds, fertilizer, farming equipment were taken as war booty to Eritrea.

Condition of the Tigray Power Supply -19August 19, 2021
Electric power remains out in all of Tigray. There is a very sparse supply of fuel for any generators and when available it comes at a high price.

The Tekezé Dam normally has four turbines that produce 300 mw of electricity through a 105 kilometer transmission line to Mekelle. It was severely damaged by the Ethiopian National Defense Force and Eritrean forces leading up and during their occupation of eastern Tigray. Now I am informed that work is going on to at least partially repair the damage. Apparently the current water level is not high enough to make use of what is currently functional so they are hoping with more time the level may rise. Significant components need to be replaced but this blocked by the Ethiopian blockade. They are hoping some interim repairs will allow partial function when the water level rises from the rainy season.

The Tekezé Dam was attacked and rendered nonfunctional by Eritrean and Ethiopian National Defense Forces

The Ashegoda wind project  was similarly sabotaged by Eritrean and Ethiopian National Defense Forces. This wind farm close to the Mekelle airport can produce 120 MW power out of 30 turbines that can meet the needs of 3 million people in Tigray. I am informed that vital parts have been damaged or stolen and then taken to Eritrea. In order to repair these vital structures supplies and expertise must be allowed past the current Ethiopian blockade.

Estimate of total civilian deaths of the Tigray in the conflict with Ethiopia

Civilians of Mahibere Dego, in a mountainous area of central Tigray were reportedly massacred following this photo

Total deaths of the civilian Tigrayan population from genocide, starvation, and absence of health care could easily approach 750,000 in the next few months.  Now almost 10 months since the conflict began Tigray remains blocked from trade, food aid, medical supplies, power, communication, fuel, in other words just about every thing. International aid agencies including the United Nations have done preliminary investigations with findings that at least 100 trucks of food aid is necessary everyday to avert fatal starvation. They found there is no real working medical facility or supply in Ethiopia. Ongoing killing is still present in Western Tigray by the Eritrean, Amhara militia, and Ethiopian Defense Forces.

Lack of Health Care Will Increase the Crude Death Rate in Tigray
The crude death rate for Ethiopia defined as the percentage of deaths in a population was first estimated in 1950 at about 32 deaths per 1000 population. By 1971 with the beginning of building of medical schools and development of a health system it was reduced to 21.11. Years later in 2020 with major teaching hospitals in every region, rural health care, and a stronger national health system the crude death rate had been dramatically reduced to 6.29 per 1000 population. Unfortunately it is perfectly logical to assume that if you take away all health care and medical supplies in Tigray the crude death rate just from the absence of health care will soar to 32 deaths per 1000 per year. For the 7, 070,260 population of Tigray measured in the last census that means this lack of health care will bring about 226,248.32 deaths annually in Tigray.

Ethnic genocidal killings by military and militia groups in Tigray
International human rights groups have done some preliminary investigation and estimate that so far 1,900 people have been killed. There is continuing violence in Western Tigray which remains occupied by Eritrea, Amhara militia, and Ethiopian national defense forces where floating bodies have been discovered at about a 40 in the Tekeze river flowing from the occupied city of Humera. The Ethiopian military plans to execute 17,500 Tigrayan soldiers who were detained at the onset of the conflict. From battle field reports it appears Ethiopian federal forces did not take prisoners of combatants only of civilians “collaborators” such that is possible that perhaps 10,000 Tigray Defense Forces have been killed.

Death From Starvation in Tigray
The United Nations relief agencies and other groups have determined that 100,000 children and over 250,000 adults are at critical stages of risk of death from starvation. The routes of delivering the necessary 100 trucks a day to help relief this emergency pass through active battlefield. Many in the Amhara political structure are espousing the view that no aid should be given to Tigray unless they unilaterally give up the fight now.