UN: Shortages in Tigray ‘very critical’

Tigray refugees who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray rest on the banks of the Tekeze River on the Sudan-Ethiopian border in Hamdayet, eastern Sudan, on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 (AP Photo-Nariman El-Mofty ).

The shortage has become “very critical” in Ethiopia’s troubled northern Tigray region, according to the United Nations. The region of 6 million people is still isolated due to threats from Ethiopian federal forces.

Martin Plaut is a writer and expert on Ethiopia. He says that what is “much more likely is that the Tigrayans are heading to the hills of the mountains, it is extremely rugged terrain.”

“If he achieves a quick victory, maybe he can establish control.” Tigrayans are much more likely to head for the foothills of the mountains, it is extremely rugged terrain. And they know it very well, they spent 20 years fighting the previous government, which they overthrew in 1991. At the same time, they do not control the skies. The skies are controlled by Ethiopian air force planes and also, the Tigrayans are said to be under attack by UAE who have drones based in neighboring Eritrea, and they are said to be using these drones against key targets. ” , he said.

Plaut noted that the Tigrayans’ cheating in the fight is aggravating an already dire situation.

” The BBC reported that Ethiopian federal troops are now preventing people from crossing the river into Sudan. This is why the numbers have dropped substantially from around 6,000 a day to around 700 a day. So people are caught up in the fighting and that is making their situation worse. Once they cross the river, of course, they can get substantial help and assistance. And the international community is moving heaven and earth to make that happen, ” Plaut added.

More than a million people are now displaced. Fuel and cash are running out. The UN World Food Program is unable to access Tigrayan’s capital Mekele due to travel blockades.

Communication links with the Tigray region have been severed since the deadly conflict broke out on 4 November. Human Rights Watch warns that “actions that deliberately impede aid supplies” violate international humanitarian law.

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