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UN aid convoy reaches Ethiopia’s conflict-hit Tigray region

Trucks with aid. PHOTO WFP

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | Xinhua | An additional aid convoy has entered Ethiopia’s conflict-hit northernmost Tigray region, aiming to reach 43,000 people with emergency relief food and 24,000 vulnerable mothers and children with nutritionally fortified food, the United Nations World Food Program said Friday evening.

A convoy of 50 trucks arriving in Mekelle, capital of Tigray, has brought essential humanitarian supplies including 1,000 metric tons of wheat and pulses, 700 metric tons of health, nutrition and wash items and 115,000 liters of fuel, said the UN agency, which will start distributing the food and nutrition items this week in northwestern Tigray.

“We are ready and have the clearance to send in further convoys and are engaging with regional authorities to ensure the next humanitarian convoy can depart safely as soon as possible,” it said.

The aid convoy in Tigray, the second in recent weeks, arrived weeks after the Ethiopian government and the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) conditionally agreed to a cessation of hostilities and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid into the region.

Earlier this month, a 20-truck aid convoy entered Mekelle through the neighboring Afar region, which was regarded as a breakthrough as it was the first road delivery into the regional capital since mid-December and the first humanitarian fuel supplies delivery through the corridor in eight months.

The TPLF and the Ethiopian National Defense Force, backed by allied forces, have been engaged in a nearly 18-month conflict that has reportedly left tens of thousands of people dead and millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

The Ethiopian parliament designated the TPLF as a terrorist organization in May 2021. ■

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