UN assessment teams to enter Ethiopia’s Tigray: Spokesman

Two UN teams will enter Ethiopia’s conflivt-ridden Tigray region to assess the humanitarian needs there, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for 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 following official approval from the federal government last week,” Xinhua news agency Dujarric as saying at a briefing on Monday.

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

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

Dujarric said the humanitarian response plan for northern Ethiopia has been updated.

The UN now seeks $116.5 million through the end of January 2021.

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 per cent funded with an outstanding gap of almost $63.4 million, said the spokesman.