Govt: Road Closure by TPLF Militants Impeding Aid Delivery to Tigray

ADDIS ABABA – The Federal Government has called on the international community to put pressure on Tigray militants to open the main road and allow the delivery of aid to people in need in northern Ethiopia.

It also urged the militants to comply with their commitments to ceasefire, and withdraw from districts of Afar and Amhara regions.

The call came days after the central government declared an indefinite truce in the northern Ethiopia conflict to expedite the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in need.

The TPLF officials responded saying they “are committed to implementing a cessation of hostilities” if sufficient aid reaches Tigray within a reasonable time-frame.

Almost a week after that, the Federal government said today that the Abala rout, a main road access to Tigray, is still closed.

‘More Flights allowed’

Since the truce declaration, a variety of actions have been taken, said the Government Communication Service (GCS) in a statement today.

Allowing a full week of air transportation to several international humanitarian organizations has been among the actions taken, it said.

“Accordingly, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, money, and nutritional supplements began to be transported by air as much as possible,” the Communication office said.

Authorities have also issued permits for more humanitarian agencies to deliver aid for people in need.

“In this regard, the government has taken immediate action, unless there is a lack of capacity or a delay in the operation of the charities,” the statement said.

However, the aid delivery via humanitarian convoys is not going as expected, said the office, accusing the Tigray militants who occupied some districts of the neighboring Amhara and Afar regions, of failing to reciprocate in terms of the truce.

‘Convoys stuck in Afar’

“The Ethiopian government has been using all available means to rescue its citizens in the Tigray region but has not been able to secure the cooperation of the other party,” the s Statement said.

According to GCS, the World Food Program (WFP) has been allowed to transport 43 trucks of food aid to people in need in the Tigray region via Abala Road.

At least 20 of these trucks are now stationed in Semera town of Afar region carrying humanitarian aid.

“The 43-truck food aid authorized to the WFP had not been transported to the Tigray region due to the closure of Abala Road by TPLF militants,” said the GCS statement .

Federal authorities reaffirmed their “commitment to work closely” with aid agencies and other stakeholders to expedite the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all people in need.

“Thus, the government of Ethiopia urges Tigray militants to refrain from citing various reasons and to disseminate misleading information and do their part to facilitate the supply of aid,” the GCS said.

Federal authorities also urged “the international community to put pressure on the Tigray militants to withdraw from the Afar and Amhara districts, where they are being held hostage, and to comply with their commitments to ceasefire”.

“The Ethiopian government hopes that all stakeholders in the Tigray region will work together to facilitate the delivery of aid and ensure a stable life for all,” the statement concluded.


Featured Image Caption: The UN Children’s Fund said it distributed emergency medical supplies to 40 medical facilities in Tigray two weeks ago. [Photo Unicef]

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