Washington, DC, US (PANA) - The US says it is encouraged that the government of Ethiopia and regional authorities in Tigray and Afar have taken steps in recent weeks to enable the delivery of desperately needed food aid to war-affected communities.
This is as millions of people in Ethiopia continue to face acute food insecurity and extreme hunger as a direct result of conflict.
In a press statement on Friday, the US Secretary of State urged the parties to "accelerate, uphold, and expand these efforts" to ensure immediate, sustained, and unimpeded humanitarian access to all Ethiopians affected by this conflict.
He said the United States stands ready to continue to assist in this life-saving endeavor.
Mr. Blinken noted that in recent months, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has taken a series of "encouraging actions" that have laid the groundwork for an end to conflict, including lifting the state of emergency, releasing some political prisoners and detainees, and, in parallel with Tigrayan authorities, declaring an effective cessation of hostilities.
"We are similarly encouraged that Tigrayan forces have withdrawn most of their forces from Afar and have reiterated their commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict."
Mr Blinken urged the parties to seize the opportunity to advance a negotiated ceasefire, including the necessary security arrangements, and call for the restoration of essential services in Tigray on an urgent basis.
"The United States remains committed to a unified, prosperous, and sovereign Ethiopia and to supporting an inclusive political process to heal the country’s divisions and provide peace and security for all Ethiopians," he said.
-0- PANA MA 30April2022