Ethiopia: UN will be able to visit Tigray to assist civilians

Young Ethiopians who fled the Tigray region arrived at the Sudanese border on December 1, 2020. AP - Nariman El-Mofty

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3 min

In Ethiopia, it took a month of conflict before Tigray finally opened up to aid workers.

And again… the whole province will not be accessible.


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With our correspondent in Addis Ababa,

Noé Hochet-Bodin

For now, the signed agreement allows the United Nations to visit only areas under government control.

This is not enough, says Saviano Abreu of the UN Humanitarian Affairs Office.


The agreement is signed with the federal government but obviously we are working hard to be able to help all the people in need in the whole region, and therefore not to be confined only to the areas controlled by the government.


Despite the signing of the agreement, no date has yet been set for the first convoy.

We are discussing with the government and other actors in the conflict so that this agreement materializes as soon as possible and that we can deliver our aid to vulnerable people.


Indeed, about half of the five million Tigrayans are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to Unicef.

Information difficult to obtain because of the telecommunications blackout in the region.

The last time we were able to speak with our refugee camps in Tigray, they had run out of food, gasoline and could no longer distribute water to the refugees… This is of great concern to us, and we are doing everything to prevent a disaster in the region. 


Another worry, Tigrayan hospitals are overflowing with wounded but lacking in medicine.

Trucks full of medicines and food are ready to take the road from Addis Ababa to Tigray, 700 km further north.

Reuters also assures that four humanitarians have lost their lives in Tigray.

Ahmed wants to drive a gradual return to normality

In the federal capital, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, meanwhile, tried to show, Wednesday, December 2, that the situation had returned to normal.

He changed the subject in his daily appearance.

This time, he met with authorized political parties and civil society organizations to discuss the elections initially scheduled for last summer and postponed until next year.

Then the festivities of the Day of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia, December 8, were announced.

And five journalists, arrested during the conflict, have been released.

With regard to the dissident province of Tigray, several press releases have also followed one another.

First, the government indicated that the former president of the upper house of the federal parliament, Keria Ibrahim, leader of the TPLF, had " 

surrendered to the authorities 


His name was on the list of Tigrayan leaders wanted for " 



An administration has been appointed for the town of Shire.

Telephone communications have been re-established in some localities in Tigray under the control of the federal authorities.

And in Dansha, a town in the disputed territory of Wolkait, a massive demonstration of Amharas was held to celebrate the defeat of the Tigrayans, under many flags stripped of the five-pointed star, which had been added after the fall of the dictator. Mengistu.


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  • Ethiopia