Ethiopia’s government has declared “an indefinite humanitarian truce effective immediately”, saying it hoped to help hasten delivery of emergency aid into the Tigray region, where hundreds of thousands face starvation.
Since war broke out in northern Ethiopia in November 2020, thousands have died, and millions remain displaced as the conflict has expanded from Tigray to the neighbouring regions of Amhara and Afar.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government “is committed to exert maximum effort to facilitate the free flow of emergency humanitarian aid into the Tigray region,” it said in a statement on Thursday.
“To optimise the success of the humanitarian truce, the government calls upon the insurgents in Tigray to desist from all acts of further aggression and withdraw from areas they have occupied in neighbouring regions,” it said.
“The government of Ethiopia hopes that this truce will substantially improve the humanitarian situation on the ground and pave the way for the resolution of the conflict in northern Ethiopia without further bloodshed.”
A spokesman for the Tigrayan forces did not respond to a request for comment on the announcement, which followed a visit by the US special envoy for the Horn of Africa, David Satterfield, to the capital Addis Ababa this week.