Ethiopia: Tigray finally opened to humanitarian aid workers

Ethiopia: Tigray finally opened to humanitarian aid workers

It took a month of conflict before Tigray finally opened to humanitarian aid workers, yet, the whole province will not be accessible.


UN Secretary General’s Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric confirmed Wednesday the details of the agreement reached last Friday with the Ethiopian Government to allow “unimpeded, sustained and secure access” for humanitarian supplies to reach those in need across areas now under its control in Tigray.


Stéphane Dujarric said that the safe passage of aid supplies and staff also extends to the Ethiopian regions of Amhara and Afar, bordering Tigray, where fighting between federal and regional forces, has impacted around six million people during the past month.


Until now, no supplies have been allowed into the conflict zone, which has displaced thousands, many across the border into Sudan.


The UN estimates that some two million are now in need of assistance in and around Tigray and some one million have been displaced by the fighting, including more than 45,000 who have fled across the border into Sudan.


Dujarric said that all aid distribution would be carried out “in compliance with the globally-agreed principles of humanity, impartiality, independence and neutrality. This includes working to ensure that people impacted by the conflict are assisted without distinction of any kind other than the urgency of their needs.”


Communications to the Tigray region continue to be severed, along with transportation routes.


Another concern is that Tigrayan hospitals are overflowing with injured people but lack medicines. Trucks full of medicine and food are ready to take the road from Addis Ababa to Tigray, 700 km further north. Reuters also reports that four aid workers have reportedly lost their lives in Tigray.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has reportedly rejected dialogue with Tigray’s regional leaders who are said to be on the run, after the regional capital was entered by federal forces last weekend.


In the federal capital, Abiy Ahmed tried to show on Wednesday, December 2, that the situation had returned to normal.


He changed the subject in his daily appearance. This time, he met with authorized political parties and civil society organizations to talk about the elections initially scheduled last summer and postponed to next year. Then the festivities for the Day of the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia on 8 December were announced.

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