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EU expresses concern over plight of refugees, civilians in restive northern Ethiopia region

European Union

The European Union (EU) on Monday expressed concern over the plight of refugees and civilians in Ethiopia’s restive Tigray regional state.

A joint statement by the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, Commissioner for Crisis Management at the EU Janez Lenarcic and Jutta Urpilainen, European commissioner for international partnerships expressed concern about the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray regional state.

“The EU is 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. The EU remains very concerned by the tragic humanitarian crisis unfolding in Tigray and its regional implications,” said the statement.

“Humanitarian access needs to be guaranteed and humanitarian assistance allowed to reach all affected areas and people in Tigray, and border areas of Afar and Amhara regions, in line with the humanitarian principles of impartiality, humanity, neutrality and independence,” the statement said.

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Months of fighting in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which used to rule the Tigray regional state until last November, and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces has reportedly left thousands of people dead, hundreds of thousands displaced, and millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

On Thursday, Ethiopia announced the establishment of an emergency center in Tigray regional state to address the humanitarian needs of 2.5 million people.

Mitiku Kassa, Commissioner at Ethiopia National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), said the center in the regional capital Mekelle will have personnel from Ethiopia government ministries, Tigray interim administration bureaus, United Nations agencies, bilateral partners and International non-governmental organizations to help it effectively coordinate humanitarian aid supplies in Tigray region.

Kassa also said the NDRMC plans to establish incident command posts in two other Tigray regional cities, Shire-Indaselassie and Adigrat, to ensure the proper use of humanitarian aid. Enditem