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Meals help convoy headed for Ethiopia’s Tigray attacked: UN

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A convoy bearing meals for Ethiopia’s war-hit Tigray got here underneath assault on the weekend, the United Nations mentioned Monday, dealing an additional blow to help distribution in a area threatened with famine.

The ten-vehicle World Meals Programme convoy was attacked on Sunday about 115 kilometres (70 miles) from the city of Semera “whereas trying to maneuver important humanitarian cargo into Tigray area”, WFP mentioned in an announcement.

The company mentioned it was working with native officers to find out who was behind the incident.

“WFP has suspended motion of all convoys from Semera till the safety of the realm may be assured and the drivers can proceed safely.”

Semera is the capital of Afar area, which borders Tigray to the east.

The route by way of Semera into Tigray had turn into important for help supply in latest weeks after two key bridges alongside different routes had been destroyed in late June.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed despatched troops into Tigray final November to detain and disarm leaders of the area’s then-ruling occasion, the Tigray Individuals’s Liberation Entrance (TPLF).

He mentioned the transfer got here in response to TPLF assaults on federal military camps.

– Combating spreads –

The 2019 Nobel Peace laureate declared victory in late November after authorities forces took the Tigray capital Mekele, however TPLF leaders remained on the run and preventing continued.

Final month the warfare took a shocking flip when pro-TPLF forces retook Mekele, Abiy declared a unilateral ceasefire and the military largely pulled out of Tigray.

However after insurgent leaders launched a brand new offensive supposed to regain management of western and southern Tigray — contested areas which were occupied by fighters from Amhara area, which borders Tigray to the south — Abiy vowed to “repel” them.

Officers from six areas and the town of Dire Dawa have since vowed to ship troops to again up authorities forces.

On the weekend insurgent forces carried out what a spokesman described as a “very restricted motion” in Afar concentrating on particular forces and militia fighters from Oromia area, the nation’s largest.

A state media report printed Saturday night time accused the TPLF, which the federal government deems a terrorist organisation, of blocking help into Tigray by way of Afar utilizing “heavy shelling” and “heavy artillery.”

However insurgent spokesman Getachew Reda denied any help supply had been disrupted, saying the preventing was not close to any help routes.

A senior UN official instructed the UN Safety Council this month that the Tigray battle had pushed 400,000 individuals into famine and that one other 1.8 million individuals are on the point of famine.

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