Aid coming to north Ethiopia, refugees recount war sufferingReuters | Addis Ababa | Updated: 04-12-2020 03:29 IST | Created: 04-12-2020 03:21 IST
A senior European Union official said on Thursday (December 3) that providing swift humanitarian relief in Ethiopia was challenging because aid workers still did not have unimpeded access.
"(Humanitarian groups) are therefore unable to assess the needs in Tigray, unable to provide assistance and they are unable to monitor that the aid actually goes to those who need it," said Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Crisis Management.
Speaking at a refugee camp in Sudan, he also said the EU has had no contact with more than 100 of its citizens in Tigray since the conflict began. "That's all because of the communication blockade and this prevention of access. This is unacceptable, simply," Lenarcic said.
Relief agencies in Ethiopia prepared convoys on Thursday to truck aid into Tigray region, where a month of war is feared to have killed thousands of people and has forced refugees to flee along corpse-strewn roads.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared victory over the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) after federal forces captured the northern region's capital Mekelle at the weekend.
However, TPLF leaders have dug into surrounding mountains in an emerging guerrilla strategy. "The war is a people's war and will not end easily," its spokesman Gebre Gebretsadkan said on Tigray TV, adding that fighting had continued round Mekelle.
More than 45,000 refugees have crossed into neighboring Sudan, while many more have been displaced within Tigray.
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