June 21, 2022 (ENA) Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen had a meeting on Monday with Janez Lenarčič, European Union Commissioner for Crisis Management, who is in Ethiopia for a two-day visit to assess the humanitarian situation and latest developments.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister said during the occasion that Ethiopia attaches considerable importance to its partnership with the EU and is working for constructive re-engagement with the commission and its member states.
Speaking on humanitarian supply to conflict-affected people in the North, he said the delivery of aid to the Tigray region has reached a milestone, going well beyond the UN’s stated goal of 500 trucks per week, calling on partners to expedite support to affected people in the Amhara and Afar regions too.
The EU Commissioner appreciated the government’s efforts in this regard further calling on measures to increase access to humanitarian partners to additional fuel, cash, and another route to deliver aid to the Tigray region.
Humanitarian partners should work closely according to the guidelines set out by the National Disaster Risk Management Commission of Ethiopia on accessing additional fuel and cash, Demeke said.
Access to another route for humanitarian supply to the Tigray region would have never been an issue had the TPLF desisted from its provocative actions against the people bordering the Tigray region who need humanitarian support too, he said.
The two sides also discussed accountability measures taken by the government of Ethiopia in the human rights abuses in the conflict, the establishment of an inter-Ministerial committee to ensure that, and commitments to human rights as well as ongoing discussion about the UN Human Rights Experts Commission on Ethiopia.
The Deputy Prime Minister also spoke about the national dialogue, the AU-led peace initiative spearheaded by Olusegun Obasanjo, and other peace-building measures that the Government has been undertaking thus far to end the conflict peacefully and ensure durable peace in the country.
Janez Lenarčič for his part acknowledged Ethiopia’s peace efforts, took note of the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister’s concerns over the dubious stance of the TPLF on the AU-led peace initiatives, and expressed the Union’s support for the peace process.
Their discussion also covered the humanitarian needs of the more than 24 million people affected by the climate change induced drought in the Somali and Oromia regional states.
Lenarčič has visited the Somali region to see first-hand the effects of the severe drought, and he will visit the Tigray region to assess the humanitarian situation.