Ethiopian Government Declares ‘Humanitarian Truce’ to Allow Aid into War-Torn Tigray Region

The Ethiopian government on March 24 declared a “humanitarian truce” with rebel Tigrayan forces to allow aid into the war-torn northern region.

The government announced an “indefinite” truce “effective immediately.”

The 16-month civil war between the government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has left over five million people, including 500,000 children, in urgent need of food, according to the United Nations.

No aid has been delivered to Tigray since mid-December. The government has routinely denied enforcing a blockade to the region while accusing the Tigrayan forces of stopping the desperately needed supplies.

In the latest announcement, the government called on Tigrayan forces, saying that the humanitarian situation on the ground would improve if “it is reciprocated by the other side.”

“To optimize the success of the humanitarian truce, the government calls upon the insurgents in Tigray to desist from all acts of further aggression and withdraw from areas they have occupied in neighboring regions,” the government said.

Previous promises by the government to allow humanitarian aid into Tigray had not been met, according to Goitom Gebreluel, a political analyst on Ethiopia and east Africa, as reported by The Guardian.

However, Gebreluel said that the latest announcement “is welcome and the manner in which it has been stated indicates that there might be something different this time around.”

Still, Gebreluel warned, “But we should be careful of taking this announcement at face value before the trucks start entering into Tigray.”

Fighting broke out in November 2020 following months-long tensions between federal authorities and the TPLF.


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