“The conflict in Ethiopia caused terrible suffering for millions of people people throughout Afar, Amhara, Tigray, Benishangul Gumz and Oromia,” said United Nations Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, in a statement on behalf of Secretary-General António Guterres.
.@antonioguterres welcomes the Government of Ethiopia’s declaration of an indefinite humanitarian ceasefire with immediate effect and the Tigrayan government’s commitment to cease hostilities with immediate effect: https://t.co/B500B21yJD
– United Nations Spokesperson (@UN_Spokesionary) March 25, 2022
“This Positive developments must now translate into immediate improvements on the basis of,” the statement continued.
Conflict broke out in Tigray in November 2020 between federal troops and forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The war spilled over into the neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar, killing thousands of civilians and displacing millions across northern Ethiopia and into neighboring Sudan.
According to UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet, all parties to the conflict are held accountable for many serious human rights abuses.
The northern region has not received any aid shipments by land since last December, due to the ongoing fighting. The Ethiopian government announced an end to the hostilities on Thursday, saying it was to allow aid to reach stricken civilians.
Hours later, the Tigrayan authorities issued a statement saying they would do everything they could to make the humanitarian ceasefire a success.
Aid essential supplies
Many aid operations remain cut or suspended in Tigray, UN humanitarians reported last week, when fewer than 7,000 people received food assistance – a tiny fraction of the 870,000 people that UN colleagues are trying to help every week.
Humanitarian partners warn that less than 10% of the required seeds have managed to reach Tigray before the start of the sowing season, which is only a month away.
© UNICEF / Christine Nesbitt
Some nutritional and medical supplies have continued to arrive in Tigrayan’s capital, Mekelle, in recent months, and in neighboring Afar an estimated 200,000 men, women and children have been displaced by traffic. still in areas that are inaccessible to the UN and its partners, due to ongoing insecurity issues.
In easily accessible areas of Afar, more than 112,000 people have received food assistance since the end of February, the United Nations reported last week.
Take ‘necessary steps’ towards a lasting ceasefire
In his statement, Mr. Guterres reiterated his call for the restoration of public services in Tigray, “including banking, electricity and telecommunications, and called on all parties to proactively allow and facilitate conditions for the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance across all affected areas.”
The Secretary-General urges all sides to fight in the north, ” build on this encouraging development to take the necessary steps towards a lasting ceasefire. ”