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UN assessment teams to enter Ethiopia’s Tigray: spokesman

Antonio Guterres
Antonio Guterres

Two UN teams will enter Ethiopia’s restive Tigray region on Monday to assess the humanitarian needs there, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“I am pleased to tell you that our humanitarian colleagues confirmed that two inter-agency assessment teams are expected to enter Tigray today following official approval from the federal government last Saturday,” he told a press briefing. One team is destined to visit Shire and another will go to Mekelle.

The aim of the missions, which are expected to last a week, is to assess the humanitarian needs, said the spokesman. Since Nov. 4, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which rules Ethiopia’s northernmost Tigray state.

The federal government’s operations followed the TPLF’s attack on a command base of the Ethiopian Defense Force in Mekelle city, capital of Tigray.

Dujarric said the humanitarian response plan for northern Ethiopia has been updated. The United Nations now seeks 116.5 million U.S. dollars through the end of January 2021.

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The goal is to address the immediate needs of an estimated 2.3 million people, including 1.3 million people impacted by the recent conflict in Tigray. The plan is currently 46 percent funded with an outstanding gap of almost 63.4 million dollars, said the spokesman.

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