Schools start to resume in conflict-hit Tigray, Ethiopia

2021-06-08 04:55:12 GMT2021-06-08 12:55:12(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

ADDIS ABABA, June 8 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government announced Monday that schools have reopened in Mekelle city, capital of Ethiopia's conflict-affected northernmost Tigray region.

A total of 32 public schools and more than 30 private ones in Mekelle city have received their students and resumed teaching activity, the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) reported Monday.

Humanitarian assistance has been provided to some 4.5 million people across Tigray, the Ethiopian government said Sunday.

Schools had closed as fighting erupted last November in Tigray between the Tigray People's Liberation Front party (TPLF) and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces.

Preparations are ongoing to reopen schools in other parts of Tigray, said the region's interim administration assigned by the Ethiopian government following the TPLF's defeat.

The Ethiopian government in March said that preparations had been ongoing to resume school activities at the cost of over 96 million Ethiopian birr (about 2.2 million U.S. dollars) for repair work and procuring necessary teaching materials.

The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in February that about 1.4 million children had no access to education across the Tigray region, with around 50,000 teachers affected due to unpaid salaries and insecurity, and many schools were occupied by internally displaced persons as temporary shelters due to the conflict.

The TPLF ruled the Tigray regional state until last November, and was classified as a terrorist organization by the lower house of the Ethiopian parliament last month.

Prior to the fighting, the Ethiopian government had been blaming the TPLF, which was one of the four coalition fronts of Ethiopia's former ruling party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), for masterminding various treasonous acts across different parts of the country with an overarching goal of destabilizing the country.

Three of the former four EPRDF coalition members in 2019 joined other regional parties in establishing the current ruling party, Prosperity Party, which the TPLF refused to join. Enditem

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