Diplomats revealed that a United Nations security team was stopped and shot while trying to enter the Shimelba refugee camp in Tigray State.
On December 8th local time, the Ethiopian government held a press conference to explain this.
At the press conference, Redwan Hussein, spokesman of the Ethiopian Emergency Working Group, admitted that some United Nations staff members were shot and detained for trespassing on two security checkpoints in the Tigray area.
Redwan warned that any disobedience to the Ethiopian government would cause serious problems.” They broke through two checkpoints and rushed to places where they should not go and were clearly told not to go.
When they tried to break through the third checkpoint, we shot and detained them.
Now, they are free. Anyone, no matter where they come from or background, must respect the government’s orders.
If the government believes that a certain area is not safe, people should not go there. This rule also applies to United Nations personnel.
Redwan stressed that Ethiopia is a sovereign state, not a no-man’s land, and no “unrestricted access” is accepted in every corner.
At the same time, he said that the reconstruction of the Tigray area is under way, the power, Internet and water supply will soon be fully restored, and the current humanitarian assistance arrangements, including food and non-food projects, will benefit 1.8 million people in the area after implementation.
It is reported that Himelba refugee camp is one of the four Eritrean refugee camps in the Tigray area, near the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The United Nations announced on December 2 that it had reached an agreement with the Ethiopian government to allow humanitarian supplies to “unimpeded, continuously and safely enter and outside” the Tigray area for assistance.
However, for security reasons, security assessments are still under way. UN Secretary-General Guterres issued a statement on 7 December stressing the urgent need for “swift restoration of the rule of law” in the Tigray region.
In a statement, Guterres said that “full respect for human rights, the promotion of social cohesion, the achievement of inclusive reconciliation, and the relaunch of public services to ensure unhindered humanitarian access to the ground” are essential.
The UN will be committed to “mobilising all forces” to provide humanitarian support to refugees, displaced persons and people affected by the conflict.
United Nations agencies have previously said that more than 47,000 Ethiopian refugees have arrived in neighboring Sudan from Tigray State to escape the conflict.
Another 96,000 Eritrean refugees have lived in four refugee camps in Tigray until the beginning of the conflict, and the camps are still isolated. And the state of communication interruption, it is impossible to keep the latest situation, but the food in the camp is likely to have run out.