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Ethiopian refugees fleeing the conflict in Tigray line up to receive food assistance at a refugee camp in eastern Sudan Ethiopian refugees fleeing the conflict in Tigray line up to receive food assistance at a refugee camp in eastern Sudan  (AFP or licensors)

Concern at humanitarian situation in Ethiopia

As fighting continues in some areas of northern Ethiopia, aid agencies are warning of a deteriorating humanitarian situation. Expressing his concern for defenseless citizens, Pope Francis has twice appealed to warring parties in the Horn of Africa nation to reject violence and find a peaceful resolution to disagreements.

By Nathan Morley

Over the last few weeks, thousands have died and more than 40,000 refugees have fled to Sudan.

However sporadic fighting between government forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in the north is compounding an already fragile humanitarian situation.

 

Relief agencies, including UNHCR, have expressed concern at a lack of fuel, food and medicines.

To make matters worse, the World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic, said he expected a worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region along with ‘injuries, malnutrition, communicable diseases such as malaria, as well as increased needs for non-communicable diseases drugs’.

The main military operations in Tigray were, for the most part, completed last week, with the country’s army chief saying that government forces controlled the regional capital, Mekelle.

For weeks the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had vowed the military would bring an end to the fighting in the region and remove its leadership, which his government regards as illegal.

Listen to the report by Nathan Morley
06 December 2020, 15:36