from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – THE humanitarian truce reached by the federal government and regional authorities is a positive step forward for humanitarian access in northern Ethiopia.
The government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali and the administration of the Tigray state have committed to the treaty.
“The humanitarian truce is a positive step for millions of people trapped in the conflict in Tigray region, where meagre humanitarian aid supplies have left people starving – with insufficient food, water and other essentials,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes region.
The organisation urged all actors in the conflict to seize the opportunity to avoid worsening the humanitarian catastrophe that is unfolding in Tigray.
“Children and women are dangerously malnourished, and media reports suggest many are already dying of starvation,” Jackson stated.
Amnesty has encouraged all parties to the conflict to immediately allow humanitarian aid workers uninterrupted access to all conflict-affected areas of northern Ethiopia, including Afar and Amhara regions.
This includes opening the flow of aid through the Afar-Tigray land route, which has been closed following the renewed fighting in the border area, and resumption of critical services such as banking, power as well as mobile and internet communication.
“The truce also needs to include unfettered and non-discriminatory humanitarian aid, including medical care, to Western Tigray, which is currently under the control of Amhara and Eritrean forces,” Jackson said.
Reports indicate that more than 5,2 million people need food aid in Tigray.
Humanitarians have been able to reach only 784 000 people since May 2021.
The government’s shutdown of phone and internet communication, and of banking services, as well as restrictions on cash delivery to Tigray and fuel shortages have crippled humanitarian operations.
Tigray spilled into conflict between the federal and regional governments at the end of 2020.
– CAJ News