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UN warns humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia as thousands flee civil war

UN warns humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia as thousands flee civil war

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has cautioned the worst humanitarian crisis the country has witnessed in over 20 years, as thousands of people were forced into mass migration. The dispute between the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) and Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) has strayed over 27000 refugees to flee to Sudan.

UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch said that Ethiopians escaping the fighting has been crossing the border at the rate of 4,000 persons per day since 10th November. The agency has moved 2,500 refugees from the Ethiopian border to Um Raquba settlement site in eastern Sudan since Saturday. However, as the number of displaced increases, the areas of accommodation will stir up more issues.

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said the UN is dealing with the Ethiopian Government and other relevant authorities to deliver humanitarian help.

While the dispute over the Blue Nile dam project between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt subsists, the new civil conflict has only caused more distress. The latest civil war began early November when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a war against the northern region of Tigray accusing the TPLF of armed revolt.

BBC reported that the prime minister ordered a military offensive against forces loyal to the northern regional government of Tigray, accusing them of treason.

The Tigray regional president Debretsion Gebremichael has confirmed to AP in a phone interview of firing missiles at Eritrea's capital, Asmara, on Wednesday.

While the lack of utilities such as electricity, telecommunications, fuel and cash continue to severely hinder any humanitarian response in the Tigray region, the conflict is also a major ongoing concern for the Eritrean refugee population of nearly 100,000, the UNHCR spokesperson Baloch remarked.

According to information gathered by Reuters, the ENDF has around 140,000 personnel and has massive air preeminence from Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships, and missile systems. While the TPLF says it has air defence systems that have shot down a federal army jet, a claim dismissed by the military.

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TAGS:Ethiopia Ethiopia civil war UN 
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