Ethiopia: UNHCR Negotiates Access to Refugees in Tigray

Ethiopian refugees fleeing clashes in the country's northern Tigray region cross the border into Hamdayet, Sudan.
2 December 2020

Cape Town — The United Nations has received approval from the Ethiopian government for “unimpeded, sustained and secure access for humanitarian personnel and services to vulnerable populations in [government-] administered areas in Tigray and bordering areas of Amhara and Afar regions”, according to the agreement that was seen and reported Wednesday by AFP.

This breakthrough comes as Eritrean refugees trapped in the Tigray region have run out of food and other basics, according to the UNHCR. The organisation also expressed concern over "unconfirmed reports of attacks, abductions and forced recruitment at the refugee camps".

Humanitarian and media access to region has been blocked since the conflict began on November 4.

In addition, one of the nine executive committee members of Tigray People's Liberation Front Keria Ibrahim has surrendered, according to reports.

Keria had served as speaker of the House of Federation, Ethiopia's upper parliamentary chamber, and was Tigray Region's Head of Civil Service and a Chief Administrator of Debub Misraqawi Zone.

The conflict began after regional authorities held elections despite a federal government directive to postpone polls due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ: Ethiopia to Allow UN 'Unimpeded' Access to Tigray to Deliver Vital Aid

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