Government of Ethiopia, realizing the need to take extraordinary measures to save lives and reduce human suffering, declared an indefinite humanitarian truce on Thursday effective immediately.
In a statement it issued, Government Communication Service (GCS) said the government has been taking measures to expedite the provision of humanitarian aid to people in need in Tigray region.
To this end, it has increased the number of United Nations humanitarian flights and expedited the delivery of fuel and cash for payments by aid organizations through improved clearance procedures, it added.
According to GCS, flights for ICRC, WHO and the European Union have been facilitated to deliver humanitarian aid; and the government has also been working to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance through the Abala-Mekelle route.
However, thousands are trekking from Tigray into neighboring regions in search of assistance.
“While it is heartening to see the fraternal bond and solidarity that is being demonstrated by communities which 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,” the statement stressed.
Furthermore, alleviating the plight of those affected by the conflict is of utmost priority and a responsibility that the government takes seriously.
The statement underscored that the Government of Ethiopia is committed to exert maximum effort to facilitate the free flow of emergency humanitarian aid into Tigray.
Therefore, the statement declared that “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 called on the donor community to redouble their generous contributions to alleviate the situation and reiterated its commitment to work in collaboration with relevant organizations to expedite the provision of humanitarian assistance to those in need.
Nonetheless, the statement stressed that 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,” it underlined.
It was further pointed out 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. ENA