The European Union also says humanitarian assistance needs to reach all affected areas including “in Tigray, and border areas of Afar and Amhara regions”
February 8, 2021
The European Union High-Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell, Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen and Commissioner Janez Lenarčič on Monday released a joint statement saying that the EU remains concerned about what it called “by the tragic humanitarian crisis unfolding in Tigray and its regional implications”
The statement said “Central and Western Tigray remain largely out of reach and two Eritrean refugee camps remain completely inaccessible.” And it also called for “withdrawal of Eritrean troops” from Tigray which is not yet definitely confirmed. It is to be recalled that Joe Biden’s new administration called for the same sometime last week.
There have been local reports that some TPLF officials who are said to have triggered the war when they attacked the Ethiopian Defense Force have been attempting to escape to Sudan through what is now called “Western Tigray.” It has been weeks since the western part of Ethiopia, which is adjacent to the area cited above, came under the forceful occupation of Sudanese Forces.
Furthermore, the statement said that “The EU is also increasingly concerned for the protection of civilians and refugees in Ethiopia, with reports of casualties and serious human rights, international refugee law and international humanitarian law violations. Effective protection of refugees from harm in accordance with international refugee, human rights and humanitarian law, including preventing any act of refoulement or coerced return targeting Eritrean refugees needs to be ensured.”
The Statement from the EU officials came just days after the World Food Program Chief, David Beasley, disclosed to the world that an important agreement was reached with the government of Ethiopia. On February 6, he wrote a twitter message saying, “Important breakthroughs in #Ethiopia today! @WFP and the Government of Ethiopia have agreed on concrete steps to expand access for humanitarians across #Tigray, and WFP will scale up its operations. Nearly 3 million people need our help NOW and we have no time to waste.” He visited the Tigray region of Ethiopia before the agreement with the government of Ethiopia.
There are fears for sinister motive in the form of a rescue mission of TPLF officials in the name of providing humanitarian assistance. While supporting unrestricted humanitarian access in the region, there are calls that politicized Ethiopian are making for supervising humaitarian access to ensure that those “humanitarian access” are not turning into a rescue operation of TPLF criminal leaders.
There were also speculations by some Ethiopians that TPLF supporters were spending on lobbing politicians including in multilateral institutions.
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