On Friday, a convoy of trucks carrying food aid entered the territory of fighters loyal to the Tigray leaders in Ethiopia. This was the first humanitarian convoy since Dec. 14, according to the U.N. World Food Program.
Eight days after Ethiopia’s federal government declared a humanitarian truce, the trucks arrived. According to the U.N., 90% of Tigray’s 6 million inhabitants are in dire need of humanitarian aid. To feed the people of Tigray, 100 trucks must enter each day.
The agency tweeted that “WFP-led convoys are back on road & making steady progression” The agency added that trucks arrived in Erepti carrying more than 500 metric tons of food supplies for “communities on the edge of starvation”.
Erepti is located in Afar, a neighboring state. It has been the scene of war in recent months. Six districts in Afar are home to fighters loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (or TPLF), which entered the region in December.
Getachew Reda, a TPLF spokesperson, tweeted that 20 WFP trucks crossed into territory controlled their fighters and were now heading to Mekele the Tigray capital.
If aid starts to reach Tigray, the Tigray fighters said that they would observe the humanitarian truce.
Getachew said, “This is a good step in the right directions.” “The bottom line is not about how many trucks can be allowed, but whether there’s a system to allow unrestricted humanitarian access for those in need.”
Ethiopian authorities urged humanitarian organizations to fly aid supplies via air on Thursday.
Legesse Tulu, a government spokesperson, reiterated Friday his demand that Tigray fighters leave the Afar- and Amhara regions.
He told The Associated Press that he called on the international community “to put pressure on the TPLF fighters.”
Although some food and nutrition supplies were flown into Tigray in recent months, they only cover a small portion of the region’s actual needs. Telephone lines and banking services are also down in Tigray.
According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, several agencies were forced to cease operations Thursday due to “lack of fuel, cash, or supplies.”