Full-scale humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ethiopia: United Nations

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Nov 17, 2020, 07:07 PM(IST)

A volunteer holds an Ethiopian flag during a blood donation ceremony for the injured members of Ethiopia's National Defense Forces (ENDF) fighting against Tigray's special forces on the border between Amhara and Tigray, at the stadium in Addis Ababa, Ethi Photograph:( Reuters )

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The United Nations on Tuesday said that a humanitarian crisis is currently underway in northern parts of Ethiopia. Thousands of people are currently fleeing the conflict taking place in the Tigray region

The United Nations on Tuesday said that a humanitarian crisis is currently underway in northern parts of Ethiopia. Thousands of people are currently fleeing the conflict taking place in the Tigray region.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared that operations to end the violence were now entering a “final” phase, following fresh air strikes near the Tigray capital of Mekele.

Also read: Ethiopia carries out air strikes in Tigray, PM says surrender ultimatum over

Abiy had received the Nobel Peace Prize last year. He claimed that his military campaign came in response to the attacks that were launched by the local ruling party - Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), who had earlier attacked federal military camps.

According to the UN refugee agency, 27,000 Ethiopians had fled the region into Sudan. 

Currently, 4,000 people are fleeing the region everyday.

"A full-scale humanitarian crisis is unfolding," spokesman Babar Baloch said during a virtual press briefing in Geneva.

"Refugees fleeing the fighting continue to arrive exhausted from the long trek to safety, with few belongings”, Baloch added.

Also read: Ethiopia says Tigray town seized, war embroils Eritrea

Those who escaped recounted the horrific scenes from the war-torn region. On Friday, Abiy had declared that the TPLF was “in the final throes of death”.

"The three-day deadline for the Tigray regional special forces and militia to hand themselves over to national defence forces instead of being a tool for the greedy junta has expired. Those Tigray special forces and militia who used the three-day deadline are appreciated," he said. 

"Since the deadline has been completed, in the coming days the final law enforcement activities will be done”, he added.

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