Addis Abeba — In a statement released today, USAID newly appointed Administrator, Ambassador Samantha Power, confirmed that a "USAID Partner Humanitarian Aid worker" was killed, "reportedly by Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers in Tigray region."
On May 20, the U.S. Government and the U.N issued statements calling on all armed actors in Ethiopia to safeguard the lives and activities of humanitarian workers throughout Ethiopia after a staff a USAID partner staff member was killed on April 28 in Kola Temben, Tigray "reportedly by Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers."
The Ethiopian army dismissed the report and said it was part of the "TPLF's propaganda and misinformation" as well as an "increased attempt to pressure Ethiopia."
"The deceased was a partner with USAID in providing desperately needed aid to the people of the region. Every day humanitarian workers risk their own lives to help those in dire need because of man-made conflicts and natural disasters. We hope that his courage and sacrifice, and that of other humanitarian workers intimidated, threatened, harmed, or killed in the Tigray region will not be in vain, as we work with the people of Ethiopia toward a peaceful resolution and a brighter future," Ambassador Samantha said in the statement.
"Since the onset of conflict in Tigray in November 2020, at least seven humanitarian workers are confirmed to have been killed while delivering assistance to those suffering in the region. This recent targeting of a humanitarian worker was clearly intentional and is part of a troubling rise in harassment and violence against aid workers. We strongly condemn this violence and continue to call on all parties to the conflict in Tigray to allow full and unhindered humanitarian access, and to ensure the safety of all humanitarian staff, so that assistance can reach those in need."
Ambassador Samantha emphasized that "aid is absolutely critical", as more than five million people now need assistance. "The risk of famine in Ethiopia looms for the first time in over 30 years."
In order for the suffering to end, "Eritrean troops must leave Tigray, the Ethiopian government must grant unimpeded humanitarian access and punish human rights abusers, and a political solution must be reached." AS