Government says “We are extremely concerned that humanitarian agencies, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), do not have access to refugee camps in Tigray”

Dec 16, 2020 | Featured parliamentary activity

Lord Alton of Liverpool – To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to ask the government of Ethiopia (1) to establish a humanitarian corridor into the Tigray region, and (2) to ensure that any such corridor is supervised in conformity with the neutrality principles laid down by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; and what plans they have to seek access for UK diplomats to all areas affected by the conflict in that region to collect any evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.[HL11060]

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon – The UK has been at the forefront, liaising closely with the United Nations (UN) and partners, in calling for immediate, free and unfettered humanitarian access across Tigray, in line with the guiding principles laid down by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The UK worked with the UN to develop these guidelines and they have been shared with the Government of Ethiopia. We are extremely concerned that humanitarian agencies, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), do not have access to refugee camps in Tigray. This means we lack an understanding of the humanitarian and protection context in camps and refugee hosting areas. We are encouraged that a UN assessment mission was able to access Tigray on 7 December. The mission must be able to work without hindrance and in turn it must facilitate the timely supply of humanitarian support to those who need it including to civilians in contested areas. We will work with the UN to monitor access and humanitarian delivery and the degree to which the UN’s guiding principles are adhered to. The UK has, alongside international partners, called on all sides to ensure the protection of civilians and for respect for human rights. We welcome the appeal made by the Ethiopian Commission for Human Rights for an independent investigation into human rights violations.

Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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Statement from  the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on the situation of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia’s Tigray region: ” extremely troubled by the humanitarian situation”…”in spite of repeated requests, UNHCR and partners have not yet had any access to the Shimelba and Hitsats refugee camps”… I am very worried for the safety and well-being of Eritrean refugees in those camps”…”refugees who reached Addis Ababa are being returned to Tigray, some against their will.”

Statement from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on the situation of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia’s Tigray region: ” extremely troubled by the humanitarian situation”…”in spite of repeated requests, UNHCR and partners have not yet had any access to the Shimelba and Hitsats refugee camps”… I am very worried for the safety and well-being of Eritrean refugees in those camps”…”refugees who reached Addis Ababa are being returned to Tigray, some against their will.”

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Tigray – parliamentary answers from the UK Government “We remain committed to the development of Ethiopia and its people, but we will continue to review our support in light of changing circumstances.”…” We are extremely concerned that humanitarian agencies, including the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), do not have access to refugee camps in Tigray. The UNHCR has, as a result, been unable to corroborate reports of the abduction and forced return of Eritrean refugees.”

Tigray - parliamentary answers from the UK...

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