Janez Lenarčič, European Union commissioner for crisis management, called, Thursday, on the Ethiopian government to end the conflict, as its troops reportedly blocked refugees, fleeing the Tigray region, from entering Sudan. “I urge the Ethiopian authorities to lift the communication blockade,” Lenarčič said during a visit to the Umm Rakouba camp in Sudan, in which he spoke with refugees who had fled their homeland over the last month.
Lenarčič pointed out that “There will be no military solution to this issue, which is primarily a political one.” “I spoke with a number of refugees in this camp today and what is perhaps most painful to hear is that they have zero information about their relatives and friends who stayed behind,” he mentioned.
He called on Ethiopia’s government to provide access for humanitarian workers and goods, urging both sides to “cease the hostilities”. The United Nations (UN) signed, Wednesday, a deal with the Ethiopian government to allow “unimpeded” humanitarian access to Tigray, or at least to the areas under the control of the federal government. This agreement was supposed to allow first aid into the region of 6 million people, according to the Associated Press (AP). “
The text of the Agreement states that the United Nations and humanitarian partners” can reach “vulnerable communities in the Tigray (government)-administered areas and the Amhara.”
Last month, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered military operations against the northern Ethiopian region’s ruling party, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), in response to what he claimed were attacks on federal army camps. Since then, thousands of Ethiopian refugees have poured into eastern Sudan, with many of them complaining about their inability to communicate with relatives who remained there or were separated from them on the scramble to leave due to a communications blackout.