The Gifted Four were having a relaxed, chill time when Verum’s crystal ball began its familiar humming. Verum walked towards it, “Oh, there’s news from Tigray, Ethiopia’s northernmost region in Africa. A war has been going on in this region since November 2020. This war has led to famine or an extreme shortage of food. Millions of people are affected by this crisis.”

“Why did a war break out in Tigray last year?” said Scorch.

“In the 1990s, a federal government was set up in Ethiopia after a war against the former military government. The Tigrayans’ party called the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) held sway over this government,” explained Verum.

Felix asked, “What is a federal system?”

“A federal system is when the same territory is governed by two levels of government,” replied Verum, “In Ethiopia’s federal system, different ethnic groups control 10 different regions. While there is a central government at the helm of affairs, this system supposedly allows the regions to govern themselves freely as well.”

“What changed? Why did war break out?” said Orak.

“Abiy Ahmed became the Prime Minister in 2018. He brought about sweeping changes in the country and dissolved the coalition of which the TPLF was a part,” explained Verum, “The Tigrayans weren’t happy with this. So, they held their elections in September 2020. The Ethiopian government called the elections illegal. The situation escalated and war broke out on 4th November 2020.”

“So, the Tigrayans now depend on crucial supplies such as food, non-food items, and fuel sent as aid to the region,” added Verum, “According to United Nations (UN) aid agencies, about 100 trucks of supplies need to be sent to Tigray every day. But there is a problem.”

“What is it?” said Orak.

“In the past two months or so, 466 trucks were sent to Tigray via the Afar region. But only 38 returned,” replied Verum, “The TPLF claims the trucks are sent with enough fuel for only a one-way journey. And there isn’t much fuel in Tigray, leaving the trucks stranded. Moreover, mostly Tigrayan truck drivers face violence at the checkpoints during this journey. So, they don’t want to return.”

“But the Ethiopian government claims that it has reduced checkpoints to ease the flow of aid into Tigray,” added Verum, “It’s a tricky situation indeed.”