The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said a medical aid convoy had arrived in the capital of Ethiopia’s war-ravaged Tigray region, following a peace deal between the government and Tigrayan rebels earlier this month.
“ICRC’s first medical supplies have just arrived in Mekelle,” the agency’s spokesperson in Ethiopia, Jude Fuhnwi, told the AFP news agency on Tuesday.
The ICRC said on Twitter that two trucks had delivered medicines, emergency and first aid kits to support health facilities in Tigray to treat patients with conditions that need urgent care.
“This aid delivery is the first since the resumption of fighting last August and the signing of the Pretoria and Nairobi agreements,” the ICRC added in a statement, referring to deals signed by the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) on November 2.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed earlier on Tuesday said the future status of the territory in the western part of Tigray will be settled according to the country’s constitution following the truce with Tigray’s leaders.
“We went to South Africa not to decide to have Wolkait in Amhara or Tigray, the Pretoria (agreement) has not that power … We agreed we should solve it based on Ethiopian law and system,” he said.
He hinted a referendum would be held to settle the matter after displaced people return to Wolkait.
“People should be given the chance … to get democratic opportunities,” he said. “Only through that we can get a solution.”
Tigray, a region of six million people, has been suffering from a severe lack of food and medicine, as well as limited access to basic services including electricity, banking and communications.
The resumption of aid to Tigray, where the UN had warned that many people were on the brink of starvation, was a key part of the peace deal signed in the South African capital on November 2, and a follow-up agreement signed in Nairobi on Saturday.