WFP says its first aid convoy since Ethiopia peace deal enters Tigray

4. WFP Ethiopia
A World Food Program truck on the outskirts of Semera, Afar region, Ethiopia on May 15, 2022. (File photo: AFP)

ADDIS ABABA  — The World Food Program (WFP) said its first aid convoy since the signing of a landmark peace deal between Ethiopia’s government and Tigrayan rebels had arrived in the war-torn Tigray region on Wednesday.اضافة اعلان

Restoring aid deliveries to Tigray was a key part of the agreement signed in South Africa on November 2 to silence the guns in a two-year conflict that has killed untold numbers of people and unleashed a humanitarian crisis in northern Ethiopia.

“WFP trucks are now rolling into Tigray with critical food assistance — this is the first movement since the peace agreement was signed,” the UN agency’s chief David Beasley said on Twitter.

The region of 6 million people has been suffering from a severe lack of food and medicine, as well as limited access to basic services including electricity, banking, and communications, with the UN warning that many people were on the brink of starvation.

“Progress must continue. All sides must uphold the agreement. Basic services must resume immediately,” Beasley said.

The WFP announcement followed the arrival on Tuesday of a medical aid convoy from the International Committee of the Red Cross, the first ICRC trucks to arrive in Tigray since the deal between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

A WFP spokeswoman told AFP that 15 trucks had entered the region on Wednesday, with “more (expected) in the coming days”.

Aid deliveries were forced to a halt in late August when fighting resumed in northern Ethiopia, shattering a five-month truce and leading to the capture of key towns in Tigray by pro-government forces.

Even before those clashes, Tigray was in the grip of a hunger crisis, with the WFP warning in early August that nearly half of the region’s population was “severely food insecure”, with some 90 percent of its people requiring food aid.

The war erupted in November 2020 when Abiy, a Nobel Peace laureate, sent troops into Tigray, accusing the TPLF of attacking federal army camps.

The TPLF had dominated national politics for nearly three decades until Abiy took office in 2018.

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