Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, on Sunday, linked food aid from abroad with diplomatic pressure on the country, reported The BBC.
In a statement reported by state-owned Ethiopia Television (ETV), Abiy said Ethiopia must stop receiving global assistance to avoid the pressure.
“If we make sure that this thing called wheat [food aid] does not enter Ethiopia, 70% of Ethiopia’s problems will be solved,” the Ethiopian prime minister said.
He pointed out that Ethiopia’s problem is wheat aid that comes with diseases and many consequences. He said if the government stops taking the aid, many of the country’s problems will be solved.
The prime minister was speaking during a visit to a wheat farm in the Oromia region.
Ethiopia, which is among major aid recipient countries, is facing increasing pressure from some Western governments over the conflict in its northern Tigray region, where millions of people are at the brink of facing starvation.
The war in Tigray started last year in November when Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed ordered the army to launch an offensive against the Tigrayan rebels after the government accused rebels of attacking military bases.
Abiy declared the end of the conflict in late November, but sporadic fighting has continued since then. Fighting, which has dragged for 11 long months, has left thousands dead and 5 million in need of aid.
In June, Tigrayan forces took back control of most of Tigray, forcing the Ethiopian army to withdraw. The forces also invaded the Amhara region in July.
Last week, The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) claimed that the Ethiopian national army has launched a ground offensive against them.
In a statement, the Tigray external affairs office said the Ethiopian military troops have launched airstrikes, drone raids, and heavy artillery bombardments in an attempt to reinvade the region.
The latest offensive has ended a ceasefire that the Ethiopian government had declared in June.