At least 7,000 people who fled escalating ethnic violence in western Ethiopia have sought asylum in neighboring Sudan, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday, amid heightened tensions between the two Eastern African nations.
Nearly 600 people have been taken to Tunaydbah camp in Sudan’s Gedaref State, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, after nearly two months of ongoing conflict across the border in Ethiopia, between federal Government troops and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
The United Nations is striving to get a team on the ground to investigate alleged human rights violations including a mass killing in Ethiopia’s Tigray, described by the UN rights chief as one of many “appalling” human rights abuses that could amount to war crimes.
When Bangladeshi textile firm DBL set up shop in Ethiopia two years ago, the African nation was the garment industry’s bright new frontier, boasting abundant cheap labor and a government keen to woo companies with tax breaks and cheap loans.
Ethiopia’s month-long war in its northern Tigray region has severely hampered efforts to fight one of Africa’s worst coronavirus outbreaks, as the fighting has displaced almost 1 million people and strained local humanitarian services to the breaking point.
In a breakthrough a month after deadly conflict cut off Ethiopia’s Tigray region from the world, the United Nations on Wednesday said it and the Ethiopian government have signed a deal to allow “unimpeded” humanitarian access, at least for areas under federal government control after the prime minister’s declaration of victory over the weekend.
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed lauded his soldiers on Monday for victory over a rebellious northern movement, but the leader of Tigray's forces said they were still fighting amid fears of a protracted guerrilla conflict.
The Ethiopian government launched a manhunt on Sunday for leaders of a rebellious faction in the northern region of Tigray after announcing federal troops had taken over the regional capital and military operations were complete.
Ethiopian government forces began an offensive to capture the regional capital Mekelle in the rebellious northern Tigray region on Saturday, said a diplomat in direct contact with residents, and the leader of Tigrayan forces.
Ethiopian federal forces were encircling the Tigray region’s capital from around 50 kilometers (31 miles) on Monday, the government said, after giving the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) a 72-hour surrender ultimatum.