EU freezes million-dollar support to Ethiopia, ‘Prime Minister must honour his Nobel Prize’

The European Union demands that the Ethiopian Government give aid organisations access to the northern region of Tigray, where millions of people have fled their homes for fighting between the Ethiopian army and rebels. Until such access is granted, the EU is suspending some EUR 88 million of aid to the country, and foreign chef Josep Borrell has announced.

The EU had pledged funds for, among other things, the reception of refugees in Ethiopia. In a blog, Borrell writes that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed must now โ€œhonor the Nobel Peace Prize he received in 2019โ€ and make every effort to end the conflict in Tigray.

The situation in the northern region escalated at the beginning of November, when Prime Minister Abiy sent soldiers to the rebels of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), who allegedly attacked an army base shortly before that. The battles that followed have killed thousands of people. Millions of people fleed, of whom more than 50,000 crossed the border with neighbouring Sudan.

Battles continue
At the

end of November, the Ethiopian government said that the insurgents had been defeated, but according to the United Nations, there is evidence that the fighting in different parts of Tigray is still continuing.

A week ago, the UN reported that almost 2.5 million people in the area need food aid, among other things. Despite an agreement with the Ethiopian Government on access to refugees in Tigray, according to the UN, it is still not possible to provide emergency aid in a number of refugee camps bordering Eritrea.