Large-scale humanitarian crisis unfolds in Ethiopia, UN says

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On average, 4,000 women, men and children have crossed the border into eastern Sudan every day since November 10, the agency said.

In total, more than 27,000 people have now traveled to Sudan at three border locations, UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch said at a press conference in Geneva.

“Refugees fleeing the fighting continue to arrive exhausted from the long journey to safety, with few items,” Baloch added. “UNHCR, along with its partners, is supporting the Sudanese government in its response, stepping up humanitarian assistance at the borders as needs continue to grow. ”

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military offensive in the troubled Tigray region on November 4 after accusing his ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), of attacking federal troops in the Tigray region. north, on the border of Eritrea and Sudan.

After announcing that it was “at war” with the TPLF, the Federal Army has since stepped up its military offensive, carrying out airstrikes as part of the Prime Minister and winner’s “law enforcement operation”. Nobel laureate Ahmed, who sparked clashes across the country. area.

A deadline for TPLF forces to lay down their arms has expired, Abiy warned in a Facebook post on Tuesday. He also promised to “reintegrate our Ethiopian compatriots fleeing to neighboring countries” in a tweet Monday evening.

Across the Sudanese border, refugees from Tigray arrive exhausted and with few items, UNHCR said. In the border town of Hamdayet, drinking water is available and latrines are under construction, but the agency says it is concerned about the hygiene conditions as thousands more people continue to arrive daily.

Other aid organizations are also distributing relief items, including blankets and mattresses, according to UNHCR. The World Food Program provides biscuits rich in protein, while hot meals are distributed by Muslim Aid.

In Tigray, lack of electricity, telecommunications and access to fuel and cash hamper humanitarian efforts and make it difficult to verify information on attacks in the region.

International diplomatic pressure to defuse tensions has fallen on deaf ears and other countries on the continent have begun to voice concerns about stability in the region.

Speaking at the Nairobi State House on Monday, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta urged the warring parties to find a “peaceful way to end the crisis”.

He warned of a full-fledged conflict in Tigray, saying Kenya and Ethiopia have long served as “anchor states for regional peace and stability,” according to a statement.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni met Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen on Monday. In un tweet, he said, the center of their discussion was peace and security in Ethiopia.

“Being one of the oldest countries that was not colonized in Africa, Ethiopia is the pride of the continent,” Museveni said.

CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite contributed to this report.



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