Ethiopia’s government has announced an immediate end to its 16 months-long civil war to give way for unimpeded relief supplies into the war-ravaged Tigray region.
A statement by government communication service on Thursday (March 24) reads, "The government calls upon the donor community to redouble their generous contributions to alleviate the situation and reiterates its commitment to work in collaboration with relevant organizations to expedite the provision of humanitarian assistance to those in need,"
The government called on Tigray's forces must reciprocate the truce for the humanitarian situation to improve in the region. In the same vein, fighters loyal to Tigray's fugitive leaders are expected “to desist from all acts of further aggression…”
It however not clear if the immediate humanitarian truce is a step toward a comprehensive cease-fire.
Ethiopia's government has faced growing international pressure to ease restrictions on the flow of humanitarian aid into Tigray.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, an Ethiopian who considers the Tigray region home, has repeatedly urged Ethiopian authorities to allow free humanitarian access into Tigray.
The Tigray region has since November 2020 seen months of political tensions between Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and the Tigray leaders who once dominated Ethiopia’s government.
The war is believed to have caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people and the displacement of millions.
Although the war has subsided in several places, notably within the Tigray and Amhara regions, concerns remain in the northeastern Afar region.
Aid into the Tigray region has been severely limited under what the United Nations described as a “de facto humanitarian blockade.”
In June Ethiopia’s government cut off almost all access to food aid, medical supplies, cash and fuel in Tigray.
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