December 8, 2020 10:16 pm by Harrison Arubu
United Nations, Dec. 8, 2020 (NAN) The United Nations on Tuesday described as alarming reports of its convoy being shot at in Ethiopia’s war-hit Tigray region.
Speaking at his daily news briefing in New York, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the Secretary-General António Guterres was “very concerned” about the situation in Tigray.
“The UN has seen the reports of a UN convoy being shot at in Tigray province. These are alarming reports. We are engaging at the highest level with the Federal Government to express our concerns and avoid any such incidents in the future,” Dujarric said.
The incident reportedly occurred on Monday when a UN security team trying to visit a refugee camp in the region was denied access and shot at.
Ethiopian government’s spokesman, Redwan Hussein, confirmed that government forces fired the shots and detained the UN personnel involved.
The BBC quoted Hussein as saying the UN team ignored instructions not to be in the area and drove through check-points.
Dujarric said the secretary-general was in touch with regional leaders, UN personnel on the ground, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
“The UN remains steadfast in its call that it is essential that the delivery of public services be re-established, and unfettered humanitarian access be guaranteed, among others,” he said.
Meanwhile, the UN spokesman said the humanitarian situation in the region was deteriorating, citing reports by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
According to him, “dire shortage of food, water, fuel and cash is seriously affecting people, including humanitarian workers. In many areas, people have been living for more than a month now with no electricity, running water, banking or communications”.
He said the UN remained fully committed to providing humanitarian support to refugees, displaced people and all populations in distress.
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