First aid trucks arrive in Ethiopia’s Tigray after peace deal, says Red Cross

© Baz Ratner, Reuters (archives)

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said a medical aid convoy had arrived in the capital of Ethiopia's war-ravaged Tigray region Tuesday, its first since a peace deal between the federal government and Tigrayan rebels almost two weeks ago.

The restoration of aid deliveries to Tigray was a key part of the breakthrough agreement signed on November 2 to silence the guns in the two-year conflict that has killed untold numbers of people and unleashed a humanitarian crisis in northern Ethiopia.

"ICRC's first medical supplies have just arrived in Mekele," the ICRC's spokesperson in Ethiopia, Jude Fuhnwi, told AFP.

The agency 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.

It was referring to the "Cessation of Hostilities" agreement signed by the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) in South Africa on November 2 and a follow-up accord reached in the Kenyan capital on Saturday.

The warring sides had agreed in Nairobi to facilitate immediate humanitarian access to "all in need" in Tigray and neighbouring regions with immediate effect.

Earier Tuesday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed vowed to fulfil the commitments made in the peace deal and make "our promise a reality".

The region is claimed by Tigrayans and Amharas.

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