Following the Government of Ethiopia’s enactment of a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire in the Tigray region, to enable farmers to undertake the seasonal farming activities and facilitate humanitarian assistance, we are witnessing the impediment by TPLF remnants of assistance delivery to those in dire need.
Prior to the June 29th 2021 enactment of a humanitarian ceasefire and related withdrawal of the Ethiopian National Defence Force from Mekelle and other cities in the region, the National Emergency Coordination Committee, which in three rounds had been provided humanitarian assistance for the past months, had also placed in storage more than 400,000 quintals of wheat and 2.5 million litres of cooking oil for distribution to those in need. In addition, close to 14million litres of fuel have been left in fuel depots within the region for utilization by citizens prior to the withdrawal of the ENDF.
It is to be noted that unfettered humanitarian access has been provided for partners and international aid organizations to avail the required assistance. The Government of Ethiopia remains steadfast in its commitment to support the safe delivery of critical supplies to its people in the Tigray region, without endangering national security. Full permission for humanitarian flights to fly to the Tigray Region have been facilitated, on the condition that they depart from Addis Ababa and land in Addis Ababa on the return flight. The condition to pass through Addis Ababa is in keeping with the Constitutional duty of the Government to preserve national security – a sacrosanct duty it is obliged to honour. Two flights by the World Food Program (WFP) have already been made in the past week.
The Government of Ethiopia is also facilitating humanitarian convoys through the Afar region and is working to fast-track security checks on the trucks to avoid delays. Relatedly, we once again condemn the attack by TPLF on an aid convoy on 18 July 2021, along the Semera-Abala road. The obstruction of humanitarian assistance to those in need within the region by the terrorist group TPLF for political gains is an act that should also be condemned by the international community. TPLF’s continued provocations directed at the Ethiopian National Defence Force, through the use of child soldiers and armed civilians, attempting to draw our forces into an altercation, need to also be strongly condemned by the international community.
The Government of Ethiopia has been working tirelessly in collaboration with development partners to ensure continued supplies of food and medicine to those that are in desperate need of it. It will continue to work with its humanitarian partners to prevent breaks in humanitarian operations and for assistance to reach all affected communities.