FM Holds Talks with UN Officials over Aid Delivery in Tigray

ADDIS ABEBA – Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen, has held talks with officials of United Nation over the ongoing humanitarian assistance in Northern Ethiopia.

After federal troops took control of Mekelle city, the interim administration has been engaged in forming a local administration, disarming civilians and providing basic services.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the foreign Minister has briefed the UN officials about the ongoing rehabilitation works the region as well as government’s effort to repatriate refugees who fled to Sudan.

The Foreign Minister has informed them that the refugees will return to their home country very soon, according to Ambassador Dina Mufti, spokesperson for the ministry of foreign Affairs, during presser later that day.

The meeting has been attended by Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Vera Songwe, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia, Catherine Sozi, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the AU, Hanna Tetteh, and Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa Parfait Onanga.

The meeting took place days after the Interim administration in Tigray has officially started working with an initial objective of reestablishing the bureaucratic structure, among others.

“A favorable environment is now created for making the aid accessible,” said Dina adding the government has signed an agreement to deliver humanitarian assistance in the northern region of Ethiopia.

The delivery would be conducted under the Federal government’s overall authority, he added.

Apart from providing support, the reconstruction of damaged infrastructures in the region has already begun, he added.

Mobile voice services in Mekelle city and Maiychew have been restored, in addition to Dansha, Humera, Maikadra, Turkan, Maytsebri, Korem and Alamata.

Electricity has also been restored to Mekelle city and surrounding towns, in the north western part of the country — specifically Metema, Humera and Welkayit.

Dina said the relevant Federal stakeholders are undertaking repair work to enable unhindered service provision in the region.

“We hope things will be back to normal in a short period,” said Ambassador Dina.

Dina also said the recent visit of the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to Mekelle, after the end of the law enforcement operation in Tigray, “shows that peace in the region is returning to normalcy”.

During his one day visit, the PM has met with senior military leaders and the interim administration of the region in the city, where he underlined that “the most important task left now is restoration and rehabilitation in addition to man-hunting the criminals”.

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