The United Nations said on Tuesday that it had not been able to bring in the fuel needed to run its humanitarian operations in Ethiopia’s Tigray region since last August.
This came in a press conference held by the spokesman for the Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric, at the United Nations Permanent Headquarters in New York.
“Humanitarian response fuel has not entered Tigray since last August, and 16 fuel tanks – each with a capacity of 45,000 liters – are still idle in the (Ethiopian) city of Smara,” Dujarric said.
“Due to severe fuel shortages, many humanitarian partners have had to significantly reduce or suspend their activities, including food delivery and water trucking,” he added.
He continued, “Since 18 October, humanitarian convoys have not moved in the area, while an estimated 100 trucks loaded with food, non-food items, and fuel are badly needed in Tigray daily to meet critical humanitarian needs.”
For about two weeks, the Ethiopian federal forces have carried out raids against sites and facilities that it says belong to the “Tiger People’s Liberation Front” militants, and are used to train its members and repair weapons.
The developments in Tigray come about a year after clashes erupted on November 4, 2020, between the Ethiopian army and the People’s Front, after government forces entered the region in response to an attack on an army base.
The conflict caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands, and the flight of more than 60,000 to Sudan, according to observers, while Khartoum says that their number has reached 71,488 people.