Some have lost personnel, managerial staffs to war
Nearly half of Tigray’s Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have been destroyed by the war and will be unable to resume their work. Out of 82 local CSOs registered and operating in Tigray, only around 50 are currently active with minimal capacity.
A few months after Tigray’s officials signed a cessation of hostilities agreement with the federal government, the number of local CSOs working in post-conflict recovery remains low. International humanitarian organizations play a key role in fulfilling this responsibility.
The local CSO sector in Tigray has been severely disrupted, and the social fabric in Tigray has been completely destroyed, according to Yared Berhe, executive director of the Tigray Alliance of Civil Society Organizations (ACSOT). “International groups are significantly responsible for some of the humanitarian work that has begun in Tigray, while domestic CSOs continue to play a minor role because Tigray’s local CSOs require rehabilitation as well.”
There were 82 local CSOs registered as members of the alliance, of which only about 50 presently have operations of varying degrees, according to a rapid assessment by ACSOT.
“We do not know what happened to the other CSOs that are not active. Some of the CSOs in Tigray have lost their employees because they died during the war. Even CSO directors and management staff were killed during the war, making it difficult to assess the status of CSOs in Tigray. Detailed studies are needed to answer this,” Yared said.
Yared noted that ACSOT is attempting to reconnect with CSOs in the region where stability is maintained. However, he claims that security and stability remain a concern in sections of Tigray. As a result, CSOs in Tigray were unable to determine the precise amount of damage and assistance required.
“In Tigray, an assessment is required to determine the precise amount and nature of supports required, but we were unable to conduct such assessments due to the CSOs’ lack of capacity and resources. There are also logistical, security, and stability concerns deterring CSOs from actively engaging and conducting damage assessments across Tigray,” Yared said.
“We have conducted a rapid assessment on local CSOs in Tigray, and we have communicated with them through emails after the internet was restored.”
A delegation of Ethiopian and foreign CSOs, led by the Ethiopian CSO Council, visited Tigray two weeks ago to reconnect with local CSOs. The delegation promised to begin providing assistance right away.
All the socio-economic activities in Tigray are disrupted, according to the visitors. Tigray is currently in desperate need of food and medical treatment. Nutritional and water supplies also need immediate attention. The IDP crisis in Tigray is also at a critical point. Post-war management did not start in Tigray. As there are so many women and children who have faced several forms of sexual abuses during the war, they need psychological treatments, compensation, and justice, according to members of the delegation.
“The Council has been stating on several occasions that if we cannot resolve conflicts and disagreements through dialogue, we are giving the problem a chance to continue to fester and bequeath problems to future generations,” Henok Melesse, executive director of the ECSO Council, stated during the visit.
Regarding accountability and justice for the wide range of human rights violations that occurred during the war, no activity has started so far, according to Yared. He says rebuilding peace in the region is difficult without ensuring accountability.
“This is one of the issues we discussed with the CSO delegation that visited Tigray. Authorities at federal and regional levels in Tigray should work together on this. We need to work together not only to rebuild Tigray but also to make sure such crises never happen again,” Yared added.