UN warns of rising famine in Ethiopia’s Tigray, calls on rebels to ‘immediately’ approve ceasefire

The UN on Friday urged the rebel group Tigray Defense Forces to support “immediately and fully” the ceasefire announced by the Ethiopian government in the war-hit region.

“We urge the TDF to immediately and fully support the ceasefire,” said UN Undersecretary General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo.

“A ceasefire respected by all parties would not only facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid, but would also be a starting point for the necessary political efforts to find a way out of the crisis,” she said at the opening of the meeting. a public meeting of the Security Council. Council, the first panel since November.

“All parties must ensure safe passage of humanitarian workers for the continued supply of supplies,” she said, stressing that access to Tigray by plane had been cut.

The meeting had been requested by the United States, Ireland and Britain and came after tough negotiations with African Security Council members who, like Ethiopia, opposed formal discussion of the situation in Tigray.

According to the African members, whose position is supported by Russia and China, the Tigray conflict is an internal matter for Ethiopia and all international efforts should be made by Africans, for example through the African Union.

If the Ethiopian government does not ensure the unimpeded movement of humanitarian supplies, supplies and aid workers to Tigray, hundreds of thousands of people could starve to death.

We need access. We need help. We must end the conflict. https://t.co/JxuCYNGXYS

— Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield (@USAmbUN) July 2, 2021

Ahead of the Council meeting, several non-governmental organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Oxfam called for the effective implementation of the ceasefire, with the latter group calling for a study into the possibility of an “airlift” with Tigray to deliver humanitarian aid to the famine-stricken area.

Acting UN relief chief Ramesh Rajasingham told the council on Friday that the humanitarian situation in Tigray had “deteriorated dramatically” in recent weeks with an increase of about 50,000 in the number of people now suffering from famine.

“It is estimated that more than 400,000 people have passed famine and another 1.8 million are on the brink of famine. Some suggest the numbers are even higher. 33,000 children are severely malnourished,” he said.

( Jowharwith AFP, REUTERS)

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