Humanitarian crisis spreads in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray state
By Nathan Morley
Ethiopian government forces have been involved in fighting with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebels since late 2020.
Over the last two years, the conflict has killed thousands of civilians and displaced millions. The Tigray region has been largely isolated since the war broke out leaving over five million people without basic needs such as electricity. Medicines, baby care products and food often run low.
As violence continues in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray state, aid agencies say around a million people face famine.
The World Health Organisation has blamed the conflict for causing the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world”.
And, as it stands, the circle of violence shows no sign of abating.
Earlier this week, the Ethiopian military took control of three towns from rebel forces in the northern Tigray region. The gains came amid growing alarm about the resurgent conflict pitting federal forces and their allies against Tigrayan rebels.
On Tuesday, the Ethiopian National Defence Force took control of the towns of Shire, Alamata and Korem. As this was happening, the head of the African Union called for a ceasefire and urged the resumption of humanitarian services.
At the same time, the U.S. development agency USAID joined the call for the joint offensive by Ethiopian federal forces to stop.
AU-led peace talks were expected to take place in South Africa, but no date has been fixed for the meeting after it was postponed, ostensibly due to logistical problems.
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