News: UN chief welcomes Fed Gov, Tigray state humanitarian ceasefire, calls for public services restoration in Tigray

A child receiving medical treatment for injuries sustained in the civil war in Tigray as hospital continue struggling to provide basic services due to what the UN said is a “de facto blockade” imposed by the federal government. Picture DW news portal.

Addis Abeba – The UN Secretary General António Guterres on Friday welcomed the declaration of an “indefinite humanitarian truce” on the part of the Ethiopian Government, and the commitment by Tigray regional state authorities promising to for immediate ceasefire if the people of Tigray receive humanitarian aid equivalent to their needs within a reasonable time frame.

The Secretary General also called for the restoration of public services in Tigray, “including banking, electricity and telecommunications, and calls for all sides to proactively enable and facilitate the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian assistance across all affected areas.” He also urged all parties, “to build on this encouraging development to take the necessary steps towards a long-term ceasefire.”

Furthermore, he acknowledged that Ethiopia’s civil war has caused “terrible suffering” for millions of people across Afar, Amhara, Tigray, Benishangul Gumz and Oromia.

The announcement by the federal government and Tigray regional state were “positive developments”, Guterres said and it “must now translate into immediate improvements on the ground.”

The UN said its humanitarians workers reported last week that many aid activities remain reduced or suspended in Tigray and fewer than 7,000 people received food assistance – “an extremely small fraction of the 870,000 who UN colleagues are trying to help each week.”  

Humanitarian partners warn that less than 10 per cent of the required quantity of seeds have managed to make their way to Tigray before the start of the planting season, which is only a month away. “Some medical and nutrition supplies have continued to be flown into the Tigrayan capital, Mekelle, in recent months, and in neighboring Afar, an estimated 200,000 men, women and children displaced by the fighting, remain in areas that the UN and partners cannot reach, due to ongoing insecurity issues,” the UN said. AS

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