The Ethiopian central government has been sending soldiers to the Tigray region in the north of the country since November last year. There are now reports of new atrocities in the region – including against children.
Johannesburg (dpa) – The United Nations children’s aid agency UNICEF has been alarmed by new reports of violence and hardship in the Ethiopian crisis region of Tigray.
“UNICEF is deeply concerned about Thursday’s alleged murder of more than 200 people – including more than 100 children – in attacks on displaced families seeking shelter at a health center and school in the Afar region,” said UNICEF director. Henrietta Fore on Monday. In addition, important food stores are said to have been destroyed, exacerbating the tense supply situation.
The humanitarian disaster in northern Ethiopia can only be solved by ending the fighting, she said. In the neighboring conflict areas of Afar, Tigray and Amhara, four million people are affected by food shortages. Currently, the recent fighting adds 100,000 refugees to the two million displaced. Many are children. “The intensification of fighting in Afar and other regions bordering Tigray is devastating for children,” Fore stressed.
The day before, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) had confirmed that its fighters were in control of the historic city of Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its famous rock-cut churches.
In November, the central government in Addis Ababa launched a military offensive against the TPLF, which was in power there, in the Tigray region, which borders the Amhara region. The background to this were years of tension between the TPLF and the national government. The TPLF dominated Ethiopia for more than 25 years until Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018.