Ethiopia: Armed Conflict

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered at on 29 December 2020.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken in response (1) to the statement by the government of Ethiopia that (a) its military shot at a UN convoy, and (b) it wants the UN to travel in armed convoy; (2) to reports that Tigrayans have been removed from their jobs at the UN; and (3) to reports that the government of Ethiopia is preventing aid reaching Ethiopians.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Minister for Africa urged all parties on 11 December to recognise that humanitarian workers must be protected from attack and are not a target. We have been consistent in our request to the parties that humanitarian actors be granted free and unfettered access in the Tigray region, most recently by the UK Special Envoy on Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs in his meetings with the Government of Ethiopia on 15 December. We will continue to work constructively with the Ethiopian authorities, the UN and others to this end.

In the week commencing 14 December, the World Food Programme was able to deliver 18 trucks of food assistance to Adi Harush and Mai Ayni Refugee Camps, without a Government of Ethiopia security escort. Humanitarian agencies including UK funded partners in Tigray are working hard in extremely challenging circumstances to deliver assistance to those in need. Urgent access is still required so that humanitarian support can be provided and delivery of essential services can resume immediately.

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