First UN aid convoy enters Ethiopia’s Tigray region since ceasefire deal

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Fifteen trucks carrying food aid entered Ethiopia’s Tigray region on Wednesday, the United Nations’s food agency said, as humanitarian groups gain access for the first time since a ceasefire agreement was signed two weeks ago.

The convoy entered Tigray through the neighbouring region of Amhara using a route that had not been viable since mid-2021, the U.N.’s World Food Programme said, when a bridge on the Tekeze river was destroyed.

“WFP convoy just entered North West Tigray via Gondar corridor for first time since June 2021,” WFP said in a tweet, adding that more food as well as medical aid was expected to enter the region via “all routes possible”.

Earlier on Wednesday the International Committee of the Red Cross said a test flight landed in Shire, the first humanitarian plane to land in the northern city since the war started in November 2020. The ICRC also said airlifts would resume.

Under the ceasefire agreement with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which controls the region, the federal government pledged to work with agencies to expedite the provision of aid. The ICRC on Tuesday announced the first international aid delivery since the truce to end two years of fighting was agreed on November 2.

There had been no international aid into Tigray, a region of around 5.5 million people, since August, when an earlier ceasefire broke down. The Ethiopian government says it has been providing aid in recent weeks.

A humanitarian official in Tigray said the price of basic goods in the capital Mekelle had increased despite the ceasefire.

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