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Workers clean the floor as sacks of food earmarked for the Tigray and Afar regions sits in piles in a warehouse of the World Food Programme (WFP) in Semera, the regional capital for the Afar region, in Ethiopia Monday, Feb. 21, 2022
Three quarters of Tigray's population are using 'extreme coping strategies' to surviveImage: AP Photo/picture alliance

Ethiopia: Tigray forces accept 'humanitarian' cease-fire

March 25, 2022

Tigray fighters have agreed to uphold a cease-fire in the war-ravaged Tigray region to allow for the delivery of aid. Hundreds of thousands of people in Tigray face starvation.


The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters on Friday agreed to respect a cease-fire in the northern Tigray region.

The rebels told the AFP news agency they were "committed to implementing a cessation of hostilities effective immediately" and asked Ethiopian federal authorities to deliver emergency aid to the region.

On Thursday, the Ethiopian government called for an immediate, "indefinite humanitarian truce" that would help aid deliveries reach the populace and called on the Tigray rebels to observe the cease-fire.

Hundreds of thousands of people in the war-ravaged region face starvation.

"The government calls upon the donor community to redouble their generous contributions to alleviate the situation and reiterates its commitment to work in collaboration with relevant organizations to expedite the provision of humanitarian assistance to those in need," a statement issued by the Government Communication Service said.

"To optimize the success of the humanitarian truce, the government calls upon the insurgents in Tigray to desist from all acts of further aggression and withdraw from areas they have occupied in neighboring regions," the government added.

Rape in the Ethiopian conflict

How bad is the situation in Tigray?

The government of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has faced increasing pressure to ensure humanitarian aid reaches the region. It has been largely cut off from food, aid, medical supplies, cash and fuel since June.

The Tigray region has a population of around 6 million. The United Nations said in January that as many as 40% of the people there are on the edge of famine. The World Food Program warned that three-quarters of Tigray's population "using extreme coping strategies to survive" and more than a third "are suffering an extreme lack of food."

The latest announcement comes shortly after US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, David Satterfield, visited the capital Addis Ababa.

Map showing Tigray

Government forces have been fighting the Tigray People's Liberation Front for 16 months, after Tigray leaders broke away from the government.

Thousands of people have died, and many more have been forced to flee their homes as the conflict has expanded from Tigray to the neighbouring regions of Amhara and Afar.

rm, aw/nm (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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