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Guterres calls for end to conflict in Ethiopia after deadly attacks

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Guterres calls for end to conflict in Ethiopia after deadly attacks

Currently, some 5.2 million people are in need of help in the northern regions of Tigray, Amhara and Afar.

GENEVA, Switzerland, January 11, 2022 / APO Group / –

Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday he was deeply saddened by reports that more than 50 civilians were killed and injured in an airstrike in northern Ethiopia last Friday.

The attack reportedly took place at a site hosting internally displaced persons in the town of Dedebit, in the Tigray region.

Earlier last week, another airstrike hit the Mai Aini refugee camp, also in Tigray, killing three Eritrean refugees, including two children.

Assistance

According to Mr. Guterres, the UN and its humanitarian partners are working with authorities to urgently mobilize emergency assistance in the area, despite continuing challenges due to severe shortages of fuel, cash and supplies in Tigray.

The UN chief is deeply concerned about the impact the conflict continues to have on Ethiopia’s civilian population.

The Secretary-General reiterates his call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, including air strikes, as all parties comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law to facilitate humanitarian access and ensure the protection of civilians, including humanitarian actors. , facilities and sites. .

Kids

In another statement issued on Sunday, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) expressed outrage at the attacks.

The agency emphasized that camps for refugees and internally displaced persons, including schools and other essential facilities, are civilian facilities. The lack of respect and protection of these areas by the combatants may constitute a violation of international humanitarian law.

According to UNICEF, all parties to the conflict continue to commit acts of violence, including serious violations against children, throughout northern Ethiopia.

14 month war

14 months have passed since clashes broke out between federal government troops and forces loyal to the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front.

Renewing its call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, UNICEF urged all parties to build on the initial signs of progress in recent weeks.

In December, the Ethiopian government announced that the National Defense Force would halt any further advance, and the Tigrayan forces declared that they had withdrawn from neighboring Afar and Amhara regions, back to Tigray.

At that time, the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, urged the parties in conflict to seize the opportunity to end more than a year of fighting.

Humanitarian crisis

Meanwhile, a broader humanitarian crisis continues to rage in parts of Ethiopia. Currently, some 5.2 million people are in need of help in the northern regions of Tigray, Amhara and Afar.

Amid reports of widespread human rights abuses, thousands of people are feared to have died as more than two million have been forced to flee their homes.

And in recent months, killings, looting and destruction of health facilities and agricultural infrastructure, including irrigation systems that are vital for production, have led to increased humanitarian needs.

According to UN aid workers, the situation in the northern part of the country remains unpredictable and volatile.

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