Source: Al Jazeera

Ethiopia said it was declaring ‘an indefinite humanitarian truce effective immediately’.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed attends his last campaign event before Ethiopia’s parliamentary and regional elections scheduled for June 21, in Jimma, Ethiopia, June 16, 2021 [File: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]

Published On 24 Mar 202224 Mar 2022

Ethiopia has announced an immediate ceasefire to its 16-month-long civil war, paving the way for aid to displaced people across the northern Tigray region.

In a statement on Thursday, the government said it was declaring “an indefinite humanitarian truce effective immediately”, saying it hoped to help hasten the delivery of emergency aid into the Tigray region, where hundreds of thousands face starvation.

“To optimise 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 neighbouring regions,” the statement said.

Since November 2020, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed deployed troops to Tigray, thousands of people have died, even as millions remain displaced.

Ethiopian troops and allied soldiers from neighbouring Eritrea have committed a litany of abuses including torture, weaponised rape and targeted killings of Tigrayans, according to human rights groups.

Rebel fighters loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have also been accused of similar abuses.


FDRE Government Communication Service-በኢፌዴሪ የመንግስት ኮሙኒኬሽን አገልግሎት

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Declaration of a Humanitarian Truce by the Government of Ethiopia

The Government of Ethiopia has been taking measures to expedite the provision of humanitarian aid to people in need in the Tigray region. To this end, it has increased the number of United Nations humanitarian flights and expedited through improved clearance procedures the delivery of fuel and cash for payments by aid organizations. Flights for ICRC, WHO and the European Union have been facilitated to deliver humanitarian aid. The Government has also been working to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance through the Abala-Mekelle route.

However, currently thousands from the Tigray region are trekking into neighboring regions in search of assistance. While it is heartening to see the fraternal bond and solidarity that is being demonstrated by communities that are receiving and helping those in need of assistance, the Government believes that the situation warrants urgent measures to ensure that those in need are able to receive aid in their localities. Alleviating the plight of those affected by the conflict is of the utmost priority and a responsibility that the Government takes seriously. The Government of Ethiopia is committed to exert maximum effort to facilitate the free flow of emergency humanitarian aid into the Tigray region.

Cognizant of the need to take extraordinary measures to save lives and reduce human suffering, the Government of Ethiopia hereby declares an indefinite humanitarian truce effective immediately. The Government calls upon the donor community to redouble their generous contributions to alleviate the situation and reiterates its commitment to work in collaboration with relevant organizations to expedite the provision of humanitarian assistance to those in need. The commitment being undertaken by the Government of Ethiopia could have the desired outcome of improving the humanitarian situation on the ground only to the extent that it is reciprocated by the other side. This decision is taken to ensure the free flow of emergency humanitarian aid to all those in need of assistance. 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 of Ethiopia hopes that this truce will substantially improve the humanitarian situation on the ground and pave the way for the resolution of the conflict in the northern Ethiopia without further bloodshed.

Government communication service