AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - Over 10,000 Ethiopian refugees in Sudan; the Prime Minister claims victory in Tigray, but at the moment there are no confirmations

Thursday, 12 November 2020 refugees   wars  

Addis Ababa (Agenzia Fides) - More than 10,000 Ethiopians fleeing the ongoing fighting in the Tigray region have fled to Sudan in the last two days. This is what humanitarian agencies report, according to which hundreds of thousands more people could flee the region if the fighting is not stopped in time. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has claimed that humanitarian agencies have been unable to provide food, medical assistance and other emergency services in Tigray due to lack of access.
In the last few hours, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted: "The western region of Tigray has been liberated" assuring that in the "liberated areas, the army is currently providing humanitarian assistance and services". He also said that the bodies of some soldiers who were tied up and were summarily executed were found.
Previously the inhabitants of Tigray had been ordered to mobilize from the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which governs the state, claiming to have to "defend" themselves against the "flagrant aggression" of the federal government.
However, communications being interrupted, communication channels blocked as well as means of communication, it is currently impossible to verify the situation independently. In recent days both sides have claimed military victories, with the TPLF going so far as to claim to have shot down an Ethiopian fighter jet. A part of the army in the region is said to have passed with the TPLF, carrying heavy weaponry including air defense systems.
The fear of observers is that the conflict will spread, involving not only other regions of Ethiopia but also neighboring countries, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia. While in the background the controversy between Addis Ababa and Cairo as part of the problematic control of the waters of the Nile after the completion of the Great Dyke of the Ethiopian Renaissance on the Blue Nile remains. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 12/11/2020)