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European Commission – Statement – Ethio Observer

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European Commission – Statement
Ethiopia: Statement by Commissioner Lenarčič on the humanitarian
situation and International Humanitarian Law in northern Ethiopia
Brussels, 30 September 2022

Janez Lenarčič Commissioner for Crisis Management said:”The EU is alarmed at the deterioration of
the humanitarian operating environment in northern Ethiopia since the resumption of hostilities in
August 2022. Reportedly, tens of thousands of people are newly displaced and damage to civilian
property and infrastructure is widespread.

This comes on top of an already dramatic humanitarian context. According to the World Food
Programme, 13 million people across the Tigray, Afar and Amhara regions are in need of food
assistance as a direct result of the conflict. At the same time Ethiopia is experiencing the most
severe drought recorded since 1981, leaving an estimated 7.4 million people facing grave food
insecurity.

The renewal of fighting severely hampers humanitarian aid delivery in northern Ethiopia. The supply
of humanitarian commodities and fuel as well as cash availability are still totally blocked for Tigray
and greatly impeded in all affected areas in Amhara and Afar. Humanitarian organisations had to
suspend their operations and withdraw some staff from conflict-affected areas. This is a serious blow
to humanitarian operations and to millions of highly vulnerable people in Tigray, Afar and Amhara
that depend on humanitarian aid for their survival.

In accordance with International Humanitarian Law, the EU calls on all belligerents to grant
unhindered access to humanitarian organisations, so that they can reach all people in need, in line
with the principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence. The EU recalls the duty of all parties
to the conflict to ensure the safety and security of civilians, humanitarian workers and humanitarian
assets, notably by strict application of the principles of precautions and distinction in the conduct of
hostilities. The EU also invites all parties to the conflict to engage in civilian-military coordination
that is presently largely insufficient.

The EU condemns in the strongest terms all violations of international humanitarian law committed
in northern Ethiopia since the conflict began on 3 November 2020. The EU encourages all the parties
to immediately end hostilities and reach a negotiated permanent ceasefire agreement.
STATEMENT/22/5895
Press contacts:
Balazs UJVARI (+32 2 295 45 78)
Daniel PUGLISI (+32 2 296 91 40)
General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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