Wednesday, 02 December, 2020


United Nations says planning for 200,000 Ethiopian refugees in Sudan

Warring Sides in Ethiopia Both Claim They Are Winning Ethiopian army marches on 'treasonous' Tigray region as ethnic conflict worsens
Bennie Garza | 21 November, 2020, 21:46

But the reported incident in Amhara, which has a long-running border dispute with Tigray, has raised concerns that the conflict could extend into a wider war after regional forces were sent to support federal troops.

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, last year's Nobel Peace Prize victor, unleashed a military campaign in the Tigray region on November 4 with the declared aim of unseating its governing party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which he accuses of defying his government and seeking to destabilise it.

Debretsion Gebremichael, who heads the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), also said Mekelle had been bombed.

Axel Bisschop, the agency's representative in Sudan, told reporters that "nobody at this stage can say exactly how many will come", but United Nations officials said fighting continues between Ethiopian government and Tigray regional government forces.

Regional official Gizachew Muluneh told AFP that three rockets were fired but none resulted in casualties or damage.

The government accused the TPLF of attacking a military base to steal weapons, which the TPLF denied. There was no immediate response from the government, although officials have said they are attacking only military targets. The bitter feud with the central government led the TPLF to hold their own elections this year in defiance of a postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The escalating conflict has drawn global calls for restraint as political analysts and diplomats warn that a slide into civil war could not only destabilize the country of 110 million people, but hurt the broader Horn of Africa region.

"What definitely is clear is that fighting is ongoing and it is sporadic, you never know where it's going to happen", said Hameed Nuru, the Sudan country representative for the World Food Program.

"At this point, neither party, from what we hear, is interested in mediation", the top US diplomat to Africa, US Assistant Secretary of State Tibor Nagy, told reporters on Thursday evening.

Army chief Berhanu Jula told a press conference that Tedros, who served as health minister under TPLF leader Meles Zenawi, was "a part of that team", referring to the party.

The fighting in Africa's second-most populous country also threatens to suck in or destabilize Ethiopia's neighbors, which include Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea.

He said on twitter that "There have been reports suggesting I am taking sides in this situation".

Since then, his campaign has seen warplanes bombing Tigray and heavy fighting, while Amnesty International has documented a gruesome massacre in which "scores, and likely hundreds, of people were stabbed or hacked to death" in the southwest town of Mai-Kadra.

NRC is now working in Um Raquba camp in Gedaref state, in the east of Sudan, where up to 5,000 people are crossing daily from Ethiopia. "This UAV is however inside the air force, that we operate from here".

A communications blackout means it is hard to verify the competing claims and the picture of the state of play on the ground remains confused.

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