US and EU Urge Ethiopia to Restore Tigray Basic Services

Envoys from the United States and the European Union urged the Ethiopian government to restore essential services in Tigray.

After a visit to the occupied region of Tigray in Ethiopia, US and EU envoys Mike Hammer and Annette Weber called for further peace talks between the government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in order to restore essential services for civilians in the region.

“A swift restoration of electricity, telecom, banking, and other basic services in Tigray is essential for the people of Tigray,” said Hammer and Weber in a joint statement.

War broke out in Tigray in November 2020 and spread to nearby territories last year. After both sides engaged in a violent standoff, the combat subsided in March after the government announced a humanitarian ceasefire. 

The government has since then permitted some humanitarian aid to enter amid reports of widespread starvation, but the ability to deliver it has been severely constrained by fuel restrictions.

A committee was established in June by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration to conduct talks with the TPLF, which demanded the return of services to people first, while the Ahmed administration demanded negotiations “without preconditions.”

Hammer and Weber also urged the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) to conduct an investigation into human rights violations in Tigray.

According to Global Conflict Tracker (CFR), approximately 56,000 individuals have been displaced due to the ongoing war between federal government forces and the TPLF.

“The Envoys furthermore appealed to all sides of the conflict to refrain from hate speech and provocative rhetoric,” wrote the EU.

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