First UN aid convoy since ceasefire enters Ethiopia’s Tigray

First UN aid convoy since ceasefire enters Ethiopia’s Tigray

NAIROBI – Fifteen trucks of food aid entered Ethiopia’s Tigray region on Wednesday, the UN’s food agency said, as humanitarian groups gain access for the first time since a ceasefire agreement was signed two weeks ago.

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The convoy entered Tigray through the neighboring region of Amhara by a route that had not been passable since mid-2021, the UN’s World Food Program said, when a bridge over the Tekeze River was destroyed.

“WFP convoy just entered northwestern Tigray via the Gondar corridor for the first time since June 2021,” WFP said in a tweet, adding that more food, as well as medical aid, was expected to enter the region via “all possible routes.”

Earlier on Wednesday, the International Committee of the Red Cross said a test flight landed in the Shire, the first humanitarian plane to land in the northern city since the war started in November 2020. The ICRC also said airlifts would resume.

Under the ceasefire agreement with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which controls the region, the federal government pledged to work with authorities to speed up the delivery of aid. The ICRC announced on Tuesday the first international aid delivery since a ceasefire to end two years of fighting was agreed on 2 November.

There had been no international aid to Tigray, a region of about 5.5 million people, since August, when an earlier ceasefire broke down. The Ethiopian government says it has provided aid in recent weeks.

A humanitarian official in Tigray said the price of basic goods in the capital Mekelle had increased despite the ceasefire.

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