The United Nations says humanitarian partners have suspended their activities due to “continued threats of drone strikes” after dozens of people were killed in an air attack.
The United Nations emergency response agency said aid agencies have halted work in part of Ethiopia’s Tigray region after a deadly air attack on a camp for war-displaced people.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement to Agence France-Presse on Sunday that the attack in the town of Dedebet in northwest Tigray “caused dozens of civilian casualties, including deaths,” according to its initial information. .
“Humanitarian partners have suspended their activities in the region due to persistent threats of drone strikes,” she added.
Aid workers and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front said on Saturday that the attack had killed 56 people. It was not possible to independently verify the claims because access to war-hit Tigray is restricted and remains under a communications blackout.
Conflict erupted in November 2020 between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which dominated Ethiopian politics for nearly 30 years before Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took power in 2018.
The Tigray region is one of Ethiopia’s 10 semi-autonomous federal states organized along ethnic lines, and is mostly home to the Tigray people who make up about 6 percent of Ethiopia’s population of over 110 million.
Air raids on Tigray have continued, while the region also suffers from cuts in communications and what the United Nations has described as a de facto embargo of aid.
The air attack came hours after the Ethiopian government on Friday announced an amnesty for several senior TPLF officials and other prominent opposition leaders in a bid to promote “national reconciliation”.
Tigray health system warning
OCHA said the lack of essential supplies, especially medical supplies and fuel, “severely disrupts the response to the wounded, and [has] It led to the almost complete collapse of the health system in Tigray.”
“The intensification of air strikes is alarming, and we once again remind all parties to the conflict to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law,” the statement read.
Before the latest attack, at least 146 people were killed and 213 injured in air strikes in Tigray since October 18, according to a document prepared by aid agencies and seen by Reuters news agency this week.
The ongoing conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and has been marked by a series of abuses, including massacres and rape.
About 400,000 people are facing starvation in Tigray, and millions are in need of food aid across northern Ethiopia as a result of the war.