Tigray authorities accuse Ethiopia of ‘befuddling’ international community over food aid truce
- After almost 17 months of fighting, a temporary humanitarian truce has been agreed upon in Tigray.
- Tigray’s transitional authority has, however, accused Ethiopia of deceiving the international community about the truce.
- Unicef says at least 2.3 million children in the Tigray region of Ethiopia need urgent humanitarian assistance.
The transitional authority of Tigray has accused the Ethiopia of attempting to hoodwink the international community into believing that it has immediately facilitated a “temporary cessation of hostilities” to allow humanitarian aid to flow into Tigray.
Ethiopia’s government last week declared an immediate, unilateral truce in its conflict with rebellious Tigrayan forces to allow aid into the northern province.
After almost 17 months of fighting between the local Tigray Defence Forces (TDF), the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF), the Ethiopian Federal Police, regional police and gendarmerie military forces of the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions, with the involvement of the Eritrean Defence Forces (EDF), a temporary truce was reached last Thursday.
The truce was to allow food and relief aid to be allowed into Tigray, since supplies had been cut off by fighting which resulted in more than 75% of the population having to resort to extreme survival methods.
Four days later, no sign of humanitarian aid had been observed in Tigray.
“No humanitarian aid has arrived in Tigray. Furthermore, Ethiopian authorities continue to saturate the airwaves with the false claim that humanitarian aid was flowing into Tigray on a daily basis,” said Tigray’s External Affairs Office.
Bloomberg reported earlier that 32 buses carrying soldiers were seen in Kobo in the state of Amhara. The report, however, highlighted that while soldiers could be facilitating the humanitarian corridor, their presence might compromise trust.
Tigray’s External Affairs Office, in a statement, maintained that Ethiopia intent on “befuddling” the international community, and that humanitarian aid should be “decoupled from political issues”.
“Accordingly, the government of Tigray demands the provision of sufficient humanitarian assistance without any delay and an end to mendacious claims regarding an end to the delivery of humanitarian aid to Tigray,” it said.
According to Unicef, roughly “2.3 million children in the Tigray region of Ethiopia need humanitarian assistance”, since communications and supply chains have been strictly limited, further isolating the region.
To emphasise the gravity of the situation, World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus claimed that “there is nowhere on earth where the health of millions of people is more under threat than in Tigray”.