Delayed UN humanitarian convoys reach Ethiopia's Tigray

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The United Nations says humanitarian aid convoys have begun arriving in Ethiopia's conflict-wracked Tigray region

Humanitarian convoys have begun to reach Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, a United Nations spokesman said Wednesday, after the area was cut off in early November by a government military offensive.

Fighting has raged since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched military operations targeting Tigray's ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

"Our WFP (World Food Programme) colleagues did manage to get a convoy in yesterday. Eighteen trucks delivered 570 metric tonnes of food," said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

The UN had this week expressed frustration at lack of access for humanitarian aid.

The convoys headed for the Adi Harush and Mai Ayni camps, which mainly host refugees from Eritrea, carrying supplies that would feed 35,000 refugees for a month.

"The supplies are going to be distributed in coming days. And other convoys are heading to other camps," Dujarric said.

"We are still looking for that unhindered and full humanitarian access that is so critical to reach the displaced population in Tigray and even people who have stayed in their homes."

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Saturday delivered its first convoy to Mekele, Tigray's capital, in coordination with Ethiopian authorities.

Ahmed, last year's Nobel Peace Prize winner, declared victory after federal troops took Mekele in late November, but the UN has since reported fighting in multiple parts of the region.

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