Ethiopia says vital route into Tigray via Afar now clear

A spokeswoman for Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says “the belligerence of the TPLF” is to blame for a blockage of aid into the Tigray region.

The only viable overland route into Tigray has been through the neighbouring Afar region, and Mr Abiy’s spokeswoman told journalists the rebels have been trying to “choke off the Afar corridor” but that federal forces had since cleared the way.

The TPLF has previously blamed the government for the blocked route, while USAID says the government has “created de facto blockades, making communications, banking, and other vital services needed for aid efforts almost non-existent”.

More than five million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance in the Tigray, Afar and Amhara regions, according to the United Nations. It says 100 trucks a day are needed to reach Tigray alone to meet needs there.

At the same press conference on Tuesday, the spokeswoman for Mr Abiy’s office was also asked to name the foreign powers Ethiopia accuses of attempting to weaken the country.

“I think the forces know who they are so I’ll leave it at that,” she replied.

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