ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s rebellious Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has accused regional authorities of the Afar regional state of denying entry, into Tigray region, of a 27-truck WFP aid convoy that was authorized by the federal government in Addis Ababa.
In a tweet, TPLF spokesman Getachew K. Reda said they have gathered information confirming that the authorities in Afar are impeding entre of the humanitarian convoy into Tigray region on the pretext that there is an ongoing fighting in Afar region’s Abaala, an area located on the highway into Tigray region.
“A 27-truck WFP Convoy apparently left Semera on its way to Tigray. The convoy was expected to break the logjam on humanitarian access to Tigray or so we were told. It turned out, while the Government in Addis had ostensibly given the green light, the regional gov’t of Afar thought the better of it,” Getachew said in the tweet.
“The excuse given was that the regional government didn’t approve of the convoy; and there was fighting in Abaala, Afar,” he added.
The opposition mouthpiece further said the fighting in Abaala was provoked by Afar regional forces with the help of Eritrean soldiers who he said have remained in the border areas with Tigray despite international calls for withdrawal of foreign mercenaries.
“The most farcical part of the story is that the so-called Abaala conflict was launched by the Afar forces & their Eritrean partners a few days ago & still continues,” the senior opposition officer said.
“It would be foolhardy for anyone to believe that this was being done without the knowledge of Arat Killo. We desperately need humanitarian aid for our people & are not interested in petty adventures,” he further added.