The United Nations and the Ethiopian government have signed an agreement to allow “unimpeded” humanitarian access for areas under federal government control.
The news comes days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared victory after invading the northern region and
More than 45,000 people have fled Tigray since November 4 following Abiy’s order for military operations against leaders of Tigray’s ruling part. Abiy accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front of attacking federal military camps in Tigray and attempting to destabilize the country.
The TPLF denies the allegations.
U.N. aid trucks had been held up for weeks at Tigray’s borders, with workers becoming increasingly concerned about the welfare of the region’s civilians.
“We literally have staff reaching out to us to say they have no food for their children,” one humanitarian worker told The Associated Press.
“We have been urging, waiting, begging for access,” another aid official, Jan Egeland with the Norwegian Refugee Council, told the AP. “We’re ready to go tomorrow. … It has been heartbreaking to be forced to wait.”
Accounts from refugees confirm the organization’s concerns were justified:
“All my children are sick because they are not used to the food that they are eating here. Back home, we were doing fine, my husband worked at a bank and I used to work at a supermarket. Now we left everything behind and we came here. We have no money or anything and we need help”, an Ethiopian refugee, Otaaside Otimora, told AFP News.