As many as 200,000 refugees are expected to flee to Sudan from Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, where the country’s deadly conflict continues. Al Jazeera reports that at least 6,000 people have already crossed the border. Hundreds of thousands more have been displaced.
The United Nations humanitarian chief in the country, Sajjad Mohammad Sajid said, “Fuel and food are needed urgently.” Trucks carrying supplies are stranded at the borders. Two million people have been affected by the conflict.
Nearly 900 aid workers in the Tigray region from the UN and other groups are struggling to contact the outside world for assisstance, as internet and telecommunications have been blacked out by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government. There are reportedly just two functional offices on which nine UN agencies, and almost 20 NGOs are dependent.
Al Jazeera reports that more than 1,000 people of different nationalities, including tourists, are stuck in the region. Sajid said that the closed airports, blocked roads, and banks which have been rendered inoperational, are making it difficult to ensure that such a large volume of people receive aid. He added, “It looks like it’s going to be a protracted conflict, which is a huge concern from the point of view of protection of civilians.”
Ethiopia’s federal government and Tigray’s regional government, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, blame each other for having begun the conflict, which, at just a week old, has claimed the lives of hundreds.
Umm Muhammed Umar