Terrorist TPLF Blocking Only Route to Tigray, Gov’t Allows WFP Trucks to Transport Aid: Disaster Risk Commissioner

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January 21,2022 (ENA)   The terrorist TPLF group is disrupting humanitarian aid from passing to Tigray region along the Abala route of Afar region, National Disaster Risk Management Commissioner Mitiku Kassa disclosed.

The commissioner told ENA that since the declaration of its unilateral humanitarian ceasefire  the government of Ethiopia has established a number of ways that boost effective and efficient delivery of humanitarian assistance to the region.

The government facilitated the Abala route to transport humanitarian assistance, including medicine, food and non-food items, from Afar to Tigray regional states.

According to him, most of the partners have benefited from the mechanism put in place by the Government of Ethiopia; and they are able to transport medicine, fuel, agricultural seeds, and other necessary assistance.

Commissioner Mitiku stressed that this helped the people of Tigray to get adequate amount of food and non-food supplies. “These were the measures that we have been taking to boost delivery of humanitarian assistance to Tigray.”

However, the terrorist TPLF invaded the Amhara and Afar regions, looted and vandalized infrastructures in the regions.

Medicine, food and non-food items were also looted by the terrorist group. TPLF looted 100,000 quintals of grain from the warehouses of the commission and its partners in Kombolcha, it was learned.

After storing the looted food and non-food and others items, the terrorist group launched attack on Abala, the only operating route supplying aid to Tigray.

Following the attacks and harassments by the terrorist group, about 40,000 people have been displaced from Abala, the commissioner noted.

Mitiku called on the international community to put the blame and pressure on the terrorist TPLF to respect the international humanitarian aid law.

The terrorists are shelling Abala with heavy artilleries, he said, adding that the Afar route has therefore been blocked since December 15, 2021.

“This blockade tantalized by most of our partners, which are working in Tigray, denied the fact that the Government of Ethiopia has done a number of efforts,” he underlined.

The commissioner further stated that over 1,010 aid trucks that should have been on the road delivering much-needed humanitarian support are stranded in the Tigray region.

The government has given permission to the World Food Program (WFP) to transport and deliver humanitarian assistance to Tigray using its own trucks. Around 118 trucks are allowed to transport food and non-food items.

Out of these, 43 trucks will transport food and non-food items to the region by January 22, 2022, Mitiku stated.

About 200 additional WFP trucks will be coming within two to three months to transport aid.

The government has already given blanket amnesty to every truck driver to keep their safety and security, according to the commissioner.