Ethiopian government warns rebel forces not to mislead international community on humanitarian issues

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Cows walk past a tank damaged in fighting between Ethiopian government and Tigray forces, near the town of Humera, Ethiopia, March 3, 2021. Picture taken March 3, 2021. To match Special Report ETHIOPIA-CONFLICT/EXPULSIONS REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Cows walk past a tank damaged in fighting between Ethiopian government and Tigray forces, near the town of Humera, Ethiopia, March 3, 2021. Picture taken March 3, 2021. To match Special Report ETHIOPIA-CONFLICT/EXPULSIONS REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Spining

The Ethiopian government on Tuesday said the Tigray rebel forces are manipulating humanitarian issues to mislead the international community.

Noting that the federal government has continued its commitment to work closely with humanitarian operators by coordinating and facilitating the movement of humanitarian aid to the conflict-hit Tigray region, the Ethiopian government warned the rebel group — Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) — that it “must stop using the humanitarian card to mislead the international community.”

According to figures from the government, since the declaration of the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire back in late June, several hundreds of trucks loaded with food and non-food items including improved seeds, fertilizers, and fuel have continued to reach the Tigray region.

More than 100 extra trucks arrived in the Tigray region capital, Mekelle, over the weekend, carrying 3,500 metric tons of food and other lifesaving humanitarian cargo, said the government sources.

The Ethiopian government, which declared a unilateral ceasefire in Tigray back in June, had in recent weeks started its defensive operations following the rebel group’s push across areas into neighboring Amhara and Afar regions. It, however, stressed that “with all its destructive acts, the group unashamedly points its finger at the government of Ethiopia for blocking aid to the Tigray region.”

“The first logical step should have been to refrain from creating insecurity in the neighboring regions where the aid routes are heading into Tigray,” the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. “Despite the havoc created against these communities, the federal government has never faltered in its commitment to open routes for humanitarian aid delivery to the Tigray region.”

It stressed that attacks by the group in the two neighboring Amhara and Afar regions displaced more than 500,000 people and disrupted the lives of about 4.5 million people.

The Ethiopian Minister of Education had recently disclosed that the conflict has damaged more than 7,000 schools in Afar, Amhara, and Tigray regions, forcing more than 1.42 million students to drop out of school for a considerable time to come.

Since the early hours of Nov. 4, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the TPLF, which had been designated as a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives, the lower house of the Ethiopian parliament. Enditem

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