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The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer rounded up his three day visit to Ethiopia, with a press conference on his bilateral talks with the leaders of Ethiopia and the Red Cross Society, and his multilateral talks which he held with African Union (AU).
President Dr. Mulatu Teshome and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn both met the ICRC chief, during his visit here, and talked about ways to improve the humanitarian action in Ethiopia and in the region, with particular regard to the impacts multiple emergencies are having on Ethiopia.
To address suffering talks focused on conflict dynamics, impacts on civilians, alleviating suffering and scaling up the operation to respond to people’s needs, Maurer said.
The ICRC has been working with the Ethiopian Red Cross Society, to expand its mission in the Gambella region, in order to better deal with the refugee influx from South Sudan.
During his meeting with the leadership of the Ethiopian Red Cross Society, Maurer reaffirmed ICRC’s commitment to cooperate with the society and enhance their partnership.
“We are extremely happy with this partnership. We are working with national societies in many countries, and Ethiopia’s certainly belongs to the top quality national society,” he said.
Hagos said that the relationship and cooperation with ICRC is strong. “As a result of such type of shifting, various parts of our country and refugee centers are not only getting emergency assistance, but long term rehabilitation programs as well,” he said.
The President also went to a detention center, in the town of Shire, where the ICRC regularly visits detainees and met with the representatives of the Tigray branch of the Ethiopian Red Cross.
Maurer wanted to address the refugee situation of South Sudan and its growing burden on Ethiopia.
With the conflict in South Sudan prompting civilians to seek refuge in Ethiopia, and the conflict not stopping, the ICRC has been intensifying its efforts since the beginning of the year.
Maurer implored all political actors to do what they can to stop the warfare, which is making the humanitarian crisis worse and closing in on the environment where humanitarian workers operate.