Ethiopia update: Third ICRC convoy of vital humanitarian assistance reaches Tigray

An International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) convoy of 20 trucks containing vital humanitarian assistance including food, seeds, water treatment materials and medical supplies reached Mekele on Saturday, 30 April, 2022, with the support and cooperation of the parties to the conflict.

This is the third convoy by the ICRC to reach Tigray within the last month, supplementing the humanitarian assistance – primarily medical items – flown in by 54 ICRC cargo flights since January.

“Patients were dying. These medical supplies have saved so many lives. The help has been tremendous, and we hope it will continue,” said Dr Kibrom Gebreselasie, medical director at Ayder Hospital in Mekele.

The medical supplies brought in by the ICRC will cover the treatment of 65,000 patients in 13 primary health care facilities for three months, as well as 6,600 diabetic patients for up to one year in four hospitals, in addition to a significant boost to operational health facilities in Shire, Semema and Shiraro hospitals.

“We went from home to home to inform patients of the arrival of medication and the resumption of their treatment. Some of them were in a critical condition and, thanks to these supplies, many are now recovering and walking again,” said Mussie Tesfay, chief administrative director at Ayder Hospital.

These shipments will also support 20,000 patients across 19 primary health care centers for one month, including healthcare professionals and their families with food.

Access to safe drinking water is a further key need for the population, and deterioration of this essential service has serious humanitarian consequences.

“The installation and rehabilitation of hand pumps is extremely important in rural and suburban areas, as access to water infrastructure is limited and people rely on contaminated sources. In addition, through the restoration and replacement of key mechanical components, we are working together with the local water authority to ensure minimal disruption of clean water service in the region’s largest cities,” explained Ivano Marati, water and habitat coordinator for the ICRC in Addis Ababa. “The health benefits are enormous, given the vast number of people served.”

The ICRC’s support will enable the population in the areas of Mekele, Adigrat, Adua, Axum and Shire to benefit from clean water through the treatment and maintenance of the towns water facilities.

Rehabilitation of the water system will also provide clean water to 500 daily patients at Ayder Hospital, and the restoration of the Shiraro Hospital building will benefit 100 patients a day. In rural areas, the installation of water pumps will serve 40,000 people.

Beyond medical and water supply support, assistance brought in by the ICRC includes essential household items for up to 15,000 people as well as distribution of seeds to 20,000 farmers.

Nevertheless, the ICRC’s contribution remains modest set against the huge needs, and the humanitarian situation in Tigray remains worrying. The ICRC welcomes the willingness of the parties to the conflict to facilitate passage of much-needed humanitarian aid. It is vital that the assistance keeps reaching the region on a regular basis.

In parallel and aligned with its countrywide approach in Ethiopia, the ICRC continues its significant assistance programs in neighboring Afar and Amhara, as well as in Oromia and Somali Regions. This includes the provision of seeds and cash for agricultural inputs, as well as a largescale livestock vaccination program for 1.6 million animals completed in Oromia, Somalia and Afar, working closely alongside the Ethiopian Red Cross Society.

Source: International Committee of the Red Cross

142 food trucks, 10 fuel tankers reach Ethiopia’s Tigray: UN

Relief workers in northern Ethiopia delivered to the Tigray region 142 truckloads carrying 3,400 metric tons of food aid in April, UN humanitarians said.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said three convoys also were able to drive the Semera road through the neighboring Afar region to deliver 10 tankers of fuel.

The deliveries targeted priority districts, including Mekelle, the regional capital; Abi-Adi, Adwa and Axum in the Central Zone; Adigrat in the Eastern Zone and Maichew in the Southern Zone. Relief also reached Sheraro and two refugee camps in the North-Western Zone, said OCHA.

Hostilities or villagers demanding they get a share of relief before allowing passage on regional roads previously blocked many such deliveries, it said.

The supplies are far below what is required to meet the level of needs in Tigray, OCHA said.

The humanitarian response also continues in conflict-affected areas of the Amhara and Afar regions neighboring Tigray. Humanitarians said that 10 million people had received food assistance from the government, the United Nations and partners since late December.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Mass arrests after anti-Muslim attack in Ethiopia

Several hundred people have been arrested following a deadly attack on Muslims in the northern Ethiopian city of Gondar, a regional official said.

More than 20 people were killed on Tuesday when heavily-armed “extremist Christians” attacked mourners at the funeral of a Muslim elder and destroyed property belonging to Muslim residents, according to a local Islamic group.

Desalegn Tassew, head of the Amhara region’s peace and security bureau, said 373 suspects had been arrested “in relation to the disturbance that happened in Gondar”, according to a statement cited by the official Amhara Media Corporation.

He also announced a ban on firearms and other weapons until all suspects were arrested.

“We are making legally accountable members of the security forces and leaders who did not assume their responsibility,” he added, without elaborating.

The cemetery where the attack occurred neighbours a mosque and church and has been the subject of an ongoing dispute between Muslims and Orthodox Christians, who are the dominant group in Ethiopia.

Amhara’s regional government said the violence erupted as people clashed over using stones from the area for burial purposes, fighting over whether the materials were being taken from the cemetery or church compound.

In Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Friday, Muslims staged a demonstration over the Gondar violence as they gathered for a mass iftar, the traditional sunset meal breaking the fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

“Justice for Amhara victims in Gondar,” they chanted. “We need fair justice.”

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Ethiopia, Morocco Reaffirms to Deepen their Relations

Ethiopia and Morocco have reaffirmed their commitment to deepening the already existing good relations between the two brotherly countries, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.

Ambassador Esayas Gotta, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia presented copy of credentials to Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates of the Kingdom of Morocco.

During the occasion, Ambassador Esayas reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Ethiopia to deepening the already existing good relations between the two brotherly countries.

Bourita, on his part thanked the Government of Ethiopia for reopening the embassy and assured the ambassador that the government of the Kingdom of Morocco will render all the necessary support to him in the discharge of his duties.

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

PM Abiy Visits ENDF’s Southern, Eastern Commands in Weldia Town, North Wollo Zone

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has visited the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) Southern, Eastern, 6th and 8th Commands in Weldia town of North Wollo Zone, Amhara Region.

The premier’s visit has come following the occasion of the upcoming Eid Al Fatir celebration, according to Office of the Prime Minister.

His visit was accompanied by the President of the Amhara Regional State, Yilikal Kefale and other higher government and ENDF officials, it was indicated.

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

Abiy Says Defense Force Ready to Ensure Safety, Development of Nation

Ethiopia and Morocco have reaffirmed their commitment to deepening the already existing good relations between the two brotherly countries, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.

Ambassador Esayas Gotta, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia presented copy of credentials to Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates of the Kingdom of Morocco.

During the occasion, Ambassador Esayas reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Ethiopia to deepening the already existing good relations between the two brotherly countries.

Bourita, on his part thanked the Government of Ethiopia for reopening the embassy and assured the ambassador that the government of the Kingdom of Morocco will render all the necessary support to him in the discharge of his duties.

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

DPM & FM Demeke Holds Talks with New WFP Country Representative to Ethiopia

The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen has appreciated the World Food Program’s continued humanitarian assistance to people affected by manmade and natural disasters in Ethiopia.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister received the World Food Program (WFP) Country Representative to Ethiopia, Claude Jibidar, at his office on Friday

During the occasion, Demeke appreciated the WFP’s continued humanitarian assistance to people affected by manmade and natural disasters in Ethiopia,

He said the federal government is exerting efforts to support the more than 20 million Ethiopians who suffer from conflict and drought.

Given the gravity of the situation, Demeke stressed the need for expedited emergency relief support to affected Ethiopians from humanitarian partners like WFP.

The two sides also noted the federal government’s encouraging efforts in transforming wheat production in Ethiopia, which paves the way for self-sufficiency.

Appreciating the indefinite humanitarian truce, Claude Jibidar said WFP is accelerating its humanitarian works in all areas affected by the conflict and drought in Ethiopia.

In connection with that, Demeke requested the WFP to condemn the TPLF’s aggressions against adjacent regions, which continued to threaten the encouraging humanitarian works.

Noting that Ethiopia hosts more than 900,000 refugees in addition to caring for its internally displaced people, the WFP country representative reaffirmed his organization’s continued support for Ethiopia.

As an anchor state in the region, encouraging peace and development in Ethiopia inspire countries in the horn region to follow suit, he said.

The WFP country representative said he would meet leaders of Ethiopian humanitarian relief agencies in a bid to expand activities of the WFP in Ethiopia.

Demeke wished the new WFP country representative success, reaffirming all necessary support for his organization’s activities in Ethiopia.

Source: Ethiopia News Agency