Displaced children collect water in Mekelle, capital of Tigray Region, Ethiopia.© UNICEF/ Esiey Leul Displaced children collect water in Mekelle, capital of Tigray Region, Ethiopia.

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The UN chief on Friday welcomed the declaration of an indefinite humanitarian truce on the part of the Ethiopian Government, and the commitment by forces in the Tigray region to comply with the immediate ceasefire, amid deep concern for the five million people who need emergency aid there.

“The conflict in Ethiopia has caused terrible suffering for millions of people across Afar, Amhara, Tigray, Benishangul Gumz and Oromia”, said UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, in a statement issued on behalf of Secretary General António Guterres.

‘Positive developments’

“These positive developments must now translate into immediate improvements on the ground”, the statement continued.

Conflict erupted 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 neighbouring regions of Amhara and Afar, killing thousands of civilians, and displacing millions across northern Ethiopia, and into neighbouring Sudan.

All parties to the conflict are responsible for multiple grave rights abuses, according to UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet.

The northern region has not received any aid deliveries by road since last December, due to the ongoing fighting. The Ethiopian Government declared the cessation of hostilities on Thursday, saying that it was to allow aid to reach stricken civilians.

Hours later, Tigrayan authorities issued a statement saying that they would do everything possible, to make the humanitarian ceasefire, a success.

Aid supplies essential

Many aid activities remain reduced or suspended in Tigray, UN humanitarians reported last week, when 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 Tigray before the start of the planting season, which is only a month away. 

A child sits inside a vehicle burned out during fighting in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia.
© UNICEF/ Christine Nesbitt A child sits inside a vehicle burned out during fighting in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia.

Some medical and nutrition supplies have continued to be flown into the Tigrayan capital, Mekelle, in recent months, and in neighbouring 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.  

In accessible parts of Afar, more than 112,000 people have received food assistance since late February, the UN reported last week.

Take ‘necessary steps’ towards lasting ceasefire

Mr. Guterres in his statement, reiterated his call 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.”

The Secretary-General urged all parties fighting in the north, “to build on this encouraging development to take the necessary steps towards a long-term ceasefire.”

 

周五,联合国秘书长 欢迎埃塞俄比亚政府宣布 无限期人道主义休战,以及提格雷地区部队承诺遵守立即停火,同时对那里需要紧急援助的 500 万人深表关切.

“埃塞俄比亚的冲突 给 阿法尔、阿姆哈拉、提格雷、贝尼尚古尔古姆兹和奥罗米亚的数百万人造成了可怕的痛苦”,联合国发言人斯蒂芬·杜加里克在代表秘书长安东尼奥·古特雷斯发表的一份声明中说。

“积极的发展”

声明继续说:“这些 积极的发展现在必须转化为实地的直接改善”。

2020 年 11 月,联邦军队与忠于提格雷人民解放阵线 (TPLF) 的部队在提格雷爆发冲突。战争蔓延到邻近的阿姆哈拉和阿法尔地区,造成数千名平民死亡,数百万人流离失所,穿越埃塞俄比亚北部,进入邻国苏丹。

联合国人权事务负责人米歇尔·巴切莱特表示,冲突各方应对多重严重侵犯人权行为负责。

由于持续的战斗,北部地区自去年 12 月以来没有收到任何通过公路运送的援助物资。埃塞俄比亚政府周四宣布停止敌对行动,称这是为了让援助到达受灾平民。

几个小时后,提格雷扬当局发表声明说,他们将尽一切可能使人道主义停火取得成功。

援助物资必不可少

联合国人道主义组织上周报告说,提格雷的许多援助活动仍然减少或暂停,当时只有不到 7,000 人获得了粮食援助——在联合国同事每周试图帮助的 870,000 人中,这只是极小的一部分。  

人道主义合作伙伴警告说,在距离种植季节只有一个月的时间之前,不到 10% 的所需种子数量已成功运抵提格雷。 

在埃塞俄比亚北部提格雷地区的战斗中,一名儿童坐在被烧毁的车内。
© 联合国儿童基金会/克里斯汀·内斯比特 在埃塞俄比亚北部提格雷地区的战斗中,一名儿童坐在被烧毁的车内。

近几个月来,一些医疗和营养用品继续空运到提格雷省首府默克尔,在邻近的阿法尔,估计有 200,000 名因战斗而流离失所的男女老少仍留在联合国及其合作伙伴无法到达的地区,由于持续的不安全问题。  

据联合国上周报道,自 2 月下旬以来,在阿法尔可到达的地区,已有超过 112,000 人获得了粮食援助。

采取“必要步骤”实现持久停火

古特雷斯先生在声明中再次呼吁恢复提格雷的公共服务,“包括银行、电力和电信,并呼吁各方积极推动和促进在所有受影响地区提供急需的人道主义援助。”

秘书长敦促在北方交战的各方“ 在这一令人鼓舞的事态发展的基础上,采取必要措施实现长期停火”。

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