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Aid agencies are unwilling to support civilians in Lalibela and Kombolcha

Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela [UNESCO, Copyright: Aezana Yohannes]

ADDIS ABABA, NOVEMBER 24, 2021 — Although the Ethiopian government has permitted flights towards Lalibela and Kombolcha, until now no humanitarian agency has requested to support civilians who are in dire need of aid, said Mitiku Kassa, Commissioner of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRC), during his interview with Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA).

It has been over 5 months since civilians in places such as Lalibela, a world heritage site, were kept hostage by the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and no international humanitarian agency has responded to their needs, according to reports from the NDRC.

"There are more than 5 million citizens who are displaced and are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance in North Wollo and South Wollo. If the international humanitarian organization were willing to support these citizens, this would not have been a problem", said Commissioner Mitku Kassa.

Lalibela is a town in Amhara region which holds the 13th-century eleven medieval monolithic cave churches that are regarded as one of the wonders of the world. It was captured by the TPLF terrorist groups in August when the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) withdrew from the site in order to avoid conflict which could cause damage to the world heritage sites.

Meanwhile Kombolcha a town South of Dessie, Amhara region, was also another strategic town which had an airport suitable to transport aid through aircraft in the same manner aid is being delivered to Tigray.

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