ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
The Ethiopian prime minister and regional authorities have launched a campaign to support the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the restive Tigray region.
"In an online meeting held this [Thursday] afternoon, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the regional presidents, and city administrators launched a solidarity initiative for the Tigray Regional Provisional Administration and the people of the region," said a statement by the office of the prime minister.
"The solidarity initiative aims at mobilizing the contribution of regions and federal institutions as well as other stakeholders in supporting humanitarian efforts underway, in addition to food and non-food items to be directed to the people of Tigray," it said.
It added that "the regional presidents also pledged direct support to strengthen the provisional administration to carry out public service delivery duties."
Vehicles, various equipment, input seeds for farmers, ambulances, medicines, and monetary support were pledged by each region and would be handed over to the provisional administration within the coming days.
"Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed further called upon all sections of society to make whatever contributions they can towards the #RebuildTigray solidarity initiative," the statement noted.
On Nov. 3, 2020, the now-outlawed Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and its special forces attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, killing soldiers and looting military hardware.
The following day, the federal government launched what has been dubbed as a large-scale law enforcement operation in Tigray in which the TPLF was largely defeated and some of its top leaders and fighters were either neutralized or captured.
Although the prime minister declared the military operations were over on Nov. 28, there have been sporadic clashes between the government forces and fighters loyal to TPLF.
More than 60,000 Ethiopians fled the fighting to neighboring Sudan while international organizations have been calling for scaled-up humanitarian assistance in the region for civilians affected by the conflict.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians have also been reported to have become internally displaced and in dire need of emergency assistance.
The international media have been kept out of the scene, making it difficult to give total pictures of the humanitarian tribulations and suffering in an objective and impartial manner.
An Addis Ababa resident with relatives living in Tigray told Anadolu Agency, asking to remain anonymous, that humanitarian assistance in support of suffering civilians has not been sufficient.
Last week, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission revealed that 108 rape cases were reported in two months across the region.
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