UN assessment team stranded in Ethiopia: Spokesman

One of the two UN teams tasked to assess the humanitarian needs in Ethiopia’s conflict-ridden Tigray state was currently stranded, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

One team is now in Mekelle, capital of Tigray, waiting to proceed to Adigrat, Xinhua news agency quoted Dujarric as saying in a statement on Thursday.

The other team, however, had not proceeded to Shire as planned due to additional permissions requested by the authorities, the spokesman said.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Peace is expected to facilitate the clearance as soon as possible, he added.

Health, nutrition, food, water, sanitation and hygiene as well as non-food items are the priority needs, said Dujarric.

A day ago, the spokesman had saidthat humanitarian assistance started to gradually trickle into Tigray although access was limited in areas where conflict was ongoing.

Since November 4, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which rules the northernmost state.

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