Trucks carrying humanitarian aid dispatched to Tigray amid hostility in Amhara
NAIROBI, Kenya - The government of Ethiopia in collaboration with various international stakeholders has dispatched about 40 trucks loaded with food and non-food items, state media reported, in an effort to save a starving population in the Tigray region.
Despite claims that Ethiopia is non-committal to allow humanitarian teams access to Tigray, the government insisted that all organizations are free to access the region, which has struggled with instability following an operation by Ethiopia National Defense Forces [ENDF], backed by Eritrea and Amhara regional forces.
Accordingly, over 40 trucks loaded with food and non-food items left Semera, the capital of Afar regional state to the Tigray region. The humanitarian aid will be distributed to people affected by the current situation in Tigray, according to ENA, Ethiopia said.
It is to be recalled that Ethiopia had declared a unilateral ceasefire last week mainly with a view to addressing the major concerns of the international community for cessation of hostility and unimpeded access to the region for humanitarian aid.
Although the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority closed the northern part of the airspace for all kinds of flights below flight level 290 since 30/05/21, the government announced on July 5, 2021, that it gave special flight permission to all interested parties to provide humanitarian services in Tigray region while the airspace closure is going on.
But there are claims that Amhara regional forces have been blocking humanitarian teams from accessing Tigray from Addis Ababa, a move that has been widely condemned. Amhara troops were directly involved in the Tigray war.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday welcomed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's assurance on access to Ethiopia’s Tigray Region reiterating the call for Protection of Civilians.
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres: The Secretary-General and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spoke yesterday to discuss the humanitarian situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
The Secretary-General welcomed the Prime Minister’s assurances that the Government of Ethiopia will facilitate immediate access to Tigray for humanitarian organizations, as well as the Prime Minister’s commitment that essential basic services, including power and communications, will resume swiftly.
The Secretary-General also acknowledged the Government’s pledge to use the ceasefire to facilitate urgent humanitarian assistance, including regular United Nations humanitarian flights into Tigray, as well as support for agricultural activities.
The Secretary-General reiterates his call that all parties must meet their obligations to protect civilians, provide unimpeded humanitarian access and observe international humanitarian law.