News: AU calls for immediate cessation of hostilities in Amhara region as aid groups battle to address dire health crisis

AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat (Photo: AU)

Addis Abeba – The African Union (AU) has formally expressed its deep concern regarding the persistent military conflict in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. In an official statement released on Wednesday, AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat urgently called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

The Chairman emphasized the African Union’s steadfast commitment to preserving Ethiopia’s constitutional framework, territorial unity, and sovereign independence, appealed to the conflicting parties to halt combat operations and prioritize the safety and well-being of civilians.

Highlighting the importance of dialogue and peaceful negotiations, Mahamat urged the involved factions to explore non-violent avenues to reconcile their differences. He further affirmed the African Union’s readiness to actively support and facilitate initiatives led by Ethiopians to restore peace and stability in the affected region.

Conflicts have been significantly subsided this week across the region after days of intense fighting between the non-state local armed group Fano and government forces last week resulting in dire humanitarian situation.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Wednesday, following improved access after government forces reclaim control of major cities, it is swiftly responding to the growing humanitarian crisis in the region. Collaborating with the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS), the ICRC revealed that they have dispatched essential medical supplies to hospitals in Bahir Dar, Gondar, Lalibela and Shewa Robit cities that have faced increased pressure due to the influx of patients with injuries related to the fighting.

“We ran out of vital supplies and oxygen in the first few days of the fighting. Many patients in intensive care died because we could not do any major surgery,” the ICRC quoted Dr Kassaye Demeke, emergency and clinical care specialist at Gondar University Referral Hospital as saying.

ICRC’s head of sub-delegation in Gondar, Delphine Leterrier said that “it has been difficult for our teams to move or communicate in the region, but we were able to coordinate with the most affected health facilities to overcome some immediate shortages”.

On Tuesday, the Command Post established to oversee the six-months state of emergency in the region said normalcy is gradually being restored in most parts of the region following second phase of its operations nearing completion. Last week the command post said it has successfully finalized the first phase of its operation which was “to liberate” the cities and towns that were held by the Fano armed group and restore peace and order in the region. AS

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