Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images

Ethiopian Crisis is "A Stain On Our Conscience" Says UN Official

The choice words were used to describe the global reaction to the famine-ridden East African country.

The United Nation's humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, has called the crisis in Ethiopia, "a stain on our conscience", as thousands starve to death in the northern region, Tigray. In an interview with the Associated Press, Griffiths recalled Ethiopia's famine in the 1980s and the subsequent deaths of some 1 million people. "That's what keeps people awake at night, is worrying about whether that's what is in prospect, and in prospect soon," he said.

In what has been deemed as the worst hunger crisis in more than a decade, and a full year into an ever-present civil war, all eyes are on the East-African region. The comments made by the humanitarian chief are not altogether surprising, however, as the UN has mentioned how hard it has been to get resources to Tigray, as government and allied forces have been accused of keeping support away from those in need. According to Griffiths, Tigray residents are being blocked from receiving food as well as medical supplies and fuel, with only 10% of the essential humanitarian supplies needed having reached Tigray in recent weeks.

"So, people have been eating roots, flowers and plants instead of a normal steady meal", Griffiths said, "The lack of food will mean that people will start to die."

Vulnerable, pregnant women and children continue to suffer greatly as they are often the first to die of disease, Griffith observed during a recent visit to Tigray. The "de facto blockade" by the government and the war has resulted in missed vaccinations for an estimated 200,000 children. According to the UN, in the first half of September, 22.7% of children living in Tigray under 5 are malnourished, while more than 70% of 11,000 pregnant or breastfeeding women are acutely malnourished. "As a comparison this is about the same levels of malnutrition that we saw in 2011 in Somalia at the onset of the Somali famine," Griffiths said.

Among other things, phone, internet, and banking services are also being denied to Tigray, which is making news of the crisis getting out of the region virtually impossible. A community letter from Mekelle University, a higher education and training public institution located in Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia, forewarned the UN that, "[Tigray] is experiencing a man-made form of famine that belittles the 1984 famine in its severity."

This news comes as the Ethiopian government fired 7 United Nations officials for "meddling" and ordered their immediate departure from their country.

Check out OkayAfrica's CrossroadsCrossroads, a special series examining Global Africa at critical moments. For our first package, we will dedicate 4 weeks of coverage to examining the lands of Ethiopia through a deep dive into music, politics, and culture.

Introducing 'Crossroads: Ethiopia' by OkayAfrica www.youtube.com

Image: Nabsolute Media

Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

get okayafrica in your inbox


Tems Is Just Doing Her Thang In New Music Video 'Crazy Tings'

The Nigerian songstress is hell bent on taking over your summer playlist and it's getting harder to resist.