Ethiopia: ICRC Urges Respect For Lives, Properties Amidst Escalating Tension in Tigray

Displaced people wait to receive for non-food items from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at the Kabasa transit centre for the internally displaced people in Dollow town, along the Somalia-Ethiopia border, August 30, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Friday called on those taking part in clashes in northern Ethiopia to respect people’s lives and property.

The humanitarian organization also asked the warring parties not to deny people access to timely medical care and assistance.

“We are deeply concerned that a military escalation in northern Ethiopia could trigger a wider humanitarian emergency in which people are displaced from their homes and unable to meet their basic needs,” said Katia Sorin, the head of delegation for the ICRC in Ethiopia.

“This can be averted if people’s lives and property are protected and respected,” added the official in a press statement.

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The ICRC is closely following developments in northern Ethiopia, through its teams in Addis and Mekelle, and stands ready to provide humanitarian assistance as needed.

Its partner, the Ethiopia Red Cross Society, is one of the main ambulance providers in the area.

“Unimpeded access for Red Cross ambulances and teams to the wounded and those in need will be crucial if clashes escalate,” said Sorin.

The present military action in northern Ethiopia come on top of recurrent episodes of violence that have flared around the country.

Many people have been killed, injured, and displaced in different parts of Ethiopia.

The ICRC says it has long had a presence in northern Ethiopia to help those impacted by different situations of violence.

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This includes ensuring people have access to water and sanitation facilities, distributing essential household items, and providing cash assistance.

It is also responding to needs created by violence in other parts of the country, such as Oromia, Benshangul-Gumuz, Amhara and Somali Regional State.


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