Ethiopia crisis: US, EU urge govt. to restore services in conflict-torn Tigray
Ethiopia’s government should resume essential services in the conflict-torn Tigray region in the north of the country, the United States and European Union envoys for the Horn of Africa have said, after a rare visit to the war-torn region facing dire conditions.
Tigray, a region in the north of the country, has been struggling to cope with food shortages and no access to basic utilities since June 2021 when Tigrayan rebels recaptured it from federal forces. In recent weeks, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have both raised the prospect of negotiations to end the brutal conflict, which erupted in late 2020.
New US envoy Mike Hammer and EU envoy Annette Weber have lately renewed diplomatic efforts by visiting Ethiopia to hold talks in Tigray, including with TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael.
“A swift restoration of electricity, telecom, banking, and other basic services in Tigray is essential for the people of Tigray,” the US and EU diplomats said in a joint statement. “Equally, unfettered humanitarian access to Tigray and the Afar and Amhara neighboring regions affected by the conflict is imperative, accompanies by the lifting of restrictions on cash, fuel and fertilizers.” The two envoys also called for unfettered aid deliveries to Tigray and the neighboring conflict-hit regions of Afar and Amhara, and urged the government to lift restrictions on cash and fuel to Tigray. More than 13 million people need food assistance across northern Ethiopia, according to the United Nations.