USAID has denied allegations that it provided nutritious and “high energy” biscuits to the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) force which is fighting against the government’s forces in northern Ethiopia.
In a brief statement Issued Tuesday by the U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa, which it shared on social media said, “USAID rejects any accusation that food assistance is knowingly or willingly given to soldiers.
“USAID monitors food distributions to ensure it is supporting the neediest, not combatants. However, there is a possibility that in conflict areas armed actors often steal food from those in need…”
The allegation came after the high energy biscuit was seized in backpack of captured top TPLF military commander Colonel Gebrehiwot Gebreaelaf who was leading the TPLF force in the battle.
During an interview with state owned Television, he described what the biscuit tastes like and how the body reacts after consumption.
From what he said, it appears that the TPLF leadership distributed it to the forces as they were deployed in the Amhara and Afar regions.
The USAID, whose Administrator Samantha Power was pushing for a “humanitarian corridor” between Port Sudan and Tigray as she was visiting Ethiopia, seems to be making a case that TPLF stole the food aid that was meant to be distributed to the needy in the Tigray region.
The TPLF has not yet reacted to the statement from the USAID.
Many people in Ethiopia tend to believe that the U.S. government and the European Union had intent to bring TPLF back to power.