Panafrican News Agency

Ethiopian crisis: Senior US diplomats expected in Ethiopia for talks on humanitarian, security issues

Washington, US (PANA) - US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, David Satterfield and Deputy Special Envoy, Payton Knopf, are expected to arrive in Ethiopia on Wednesday for meetings with Ethiopian government officials, representatives of humanitarian organisations and diplomatic partners.

A statement by the US State Department said their visit continues the US' efforts towards ceasing hostilities, unhindered humanitarian access, transparent investigations into human rights abuses and violations by all actors, and a negotiated resolution to the conflict in Ethiopia.

The Government of Ethiopia announced late last Minth that it has with immediate effect declared an indefinite humanitarian truce in the civil war that has created a huge humanitarian crisis.

It said it had realised the need to take "extraordinary measures to save lives and reduce human suffering in the war" that started in the Tigray region in the north in November 2020 when the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) attacked a government garrison in the regional capital, Mekelle.

The United States welcomed the gesture to expedite the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to all those in need. 

The Addis Ababa government said it had been taking measures to expedite the provision of humanitarian aid to people in need in the Tigray region.

To this end, it said, it had 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.

However, reports say the overall situation in northern Ethiopia remains fragile and unpredictable days after the government declared a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire.

In Tigray and Amhara regions, the situation remained generally calm with static lines of contact, while armed clashes were reported in Gubi Kebele, Ab’ala woreda and in Koneba town, in Kilbet/Zone 2 in Afar Region on 30 March, the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs said in a situation report.

No significant incidents were reported in Afar since then and access has improved in most parts of the region.

As the situation remains unstable, it is not yet conducive for the returns of internally displaced people (IDPs) to their area of origin in Afar, the report said.

The UN said on 1 and 2 April, the first humanitarian convoy since mid-December arrived in the Tigray Region via the Semera-Abala-Mekelle route.

-0- PANA MA 13April2022