Ethiopia: “Urgent” humanitarian crisis now unfolding

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) -
Ethiopia is in the midst of a full-blown humanitarian crisis as refugees flee to the border with Sudan and up to two million people face starvation while the government wars against a separatist group in the country’s Tigray region, CBN News reports. Among daily reports of mass killings on both sides is the reported massacre of over 700 Orthodox Christians outside their church in Tigray’s city of Aksum earlier this month.

Fighting since November 2020, those engaged in the current conflict are the Tigray Regional Government, led by the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF); and forces supporting Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, including president Isaias Afwerki's Eritrean Forces.

In a statement raising the alarm, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said: "We estimate that 2.3 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in Tigray including 1.3 million children. Localized fighting and insecurity continue. Access to most parts of northwestern and eastern and central Tigray remains constrained due to the ongoing insecurity and bureaucratic hurdles."

Aid agencies have warned Ethiopians face mass starvation if world leaders fail to quickly intervene, CBN News said.

Although the Ethiopian government denies there have been atrocities, the UN says it has “consistent” information to the contrary, CBN News reports. Elizabeth Throssell, the spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said in a statement: "We have received consistent information pointing to violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law by all parties to the conflict – including artillery strikes on populated areas, the deliberate targeting of civilians, extrajudicial killings and widespread looting."