Egyptian companies working in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region are suing the federal government in Addis Ababa over disrupting production, local media reported on Monday.
The Cairo 24 website reported that Egyptian companies have formally entered into an international lawsuit against Ethiopia because of the damage to the industrial zone in the Tigray region and the disruption of work there for a year and a half since the start of the conflict there.
The head of the Egyptian industrial zone in Tigray and deputy head of the Federation of Egyptian Investors Alaa el-Saqti said that Egyptian factories investing in Ethiopia incurred losses amounting to about US$ 40 million, and the investing companies decided to resort to international arbitration to claim their rights.
“Egyptian companies affected by the conflicts and civil war in Ethiopia have resorted to international arbitration to compensate them for the losses,” he added.
Egyptian companies were forced to resort to this step following the failure of negotiations with the Ethiopian government and the Addis Ababa embassy in Egypt for the first six months of the year, and failure to reach an agreement that protects and compensates the investments of factories operating there.
Millions of people are under a blockade imposed by Ethiopia’s government on the embattled Tigray region.
Ethiopia’s government this year declared the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which dominated the country’s government for 27 years before Abiy came to power, a terrorist group after a political fallout turned into fighting: caught in the middle are civilians.
Thousands have died.
The United States is warning that food aid will run out for millions of hungry people under a blockade. USAID has warned that up to 900,000 people in Tigray face famine conditions in what has been called the world’s worst hunger crisis in a decade. The Associated Press has reported that scores of people have starved to death.
Ethiopia’s government, on the defensive after resurgent Tigray forces retook much of the region in June, has accused humanitarian workers of arming and supporting the fighters, and aid workers have described intense searches and confiscation of personal medication, cash and communications equipment as they try to enter the region on rare convoys or flights.
The government also suspended the operations of Doctors Without Borders’ Dutch section and the Norwegian Refugee Council, accusing them of spreading “misinformation.”