AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - Tigray: the worst offensive in recent times, an emergency for hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians

Wednesday, 21 September 2022 wars   displaced persons  

Addis Ababa (Agenzia Fides) - "The Eritrean army is recalling the reservists and recruiting many young people to be sent to the front. They are trying to conquer Axum, Adigrat, Shire and enter Macallè, the situation of the civilian population is dramatic, the worst offensive since the conflict". This is what a source of the local Catholic Church, who remains anonymous for security reasons, told Fides.
Since August 24, when the fighting resumed, the humanitarian situation in Tigray has been worsening day by day (see Fides, 24/8/2022). The Amhara and Fano special forces are also involved in the offensive against the Tigrinyan guerrillas, while drone attacks by the federal army are reported. The attacks conducted by the Eritrean army are causing victims among civilians. The President of Somalia, Hassan Sheik Mohamud asked Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki to bring the 5,000 soldiers trained in Eritrea back to Somalia, but at the moment there has been no response.
"The widespread denial and obstruction of access to basic services, food, health care and humanitarian assistance are having a devastating impact on the civilian population", said the chairman of the commission created by the Human Rights Council of United Nations, Kaari Betty Murungi. "The humanitarian crisis in Tigray is shocking, both in terms of scope and duration", he said.
Murungi called on the government to immediately restore basic services and ensure full and unrestricted humanitarian access. The international commission also urged the TPLF forces to "ensure that humanitarian agencies can operate without hindrance".
The situation is also dramatic for some 2,800 civilians displaced and recently transferred to a federal police training center. In the Jarre camp where, according to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), they had been taken and suffered serious human rights violations. The commission denounces the impossibility of visiting the displaced due to the refusal of the security forces. (AP/GF) (Agenzia Fides, 21/09/2022)