the fighting continues in the absence of humanitarian aid

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Last Tuesday, the UN sounded the alarm by calling the crisis in Tigray a great tragedy. Since that conversation, nothing has really changed.

Conflicts have continued for 18 days in Ethiopia’s Tigray region between the federal army and troops from Tigray’s dissident party, the TPLF. A conflict without independent witnesses. On Friday, the Ethiopian government said its troops had advanced in the direction of the provincial capital Mekelle, while the Tigray party claimed to have recaptured a city from the troops in Addis Ababa.

Still no NGOs in Tigray

But in 18 days of fighting, almost no humanitarian organization has yet been able to gain access to the civilian population trapped in Tigray, reports our correspondent in Addis Ababa. Noé Rochet-Bodin. According to Saviano Abreu, of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there are few drugs left and the equivalent of one week of drinking water.

“We humanitarians demand full access to Tigray for all NGOs, their personnel and their equipment. Because in Tigray, there were already one million people in need of humanitarian aid. And a million one hundred thousand more is added to it, he explains.

The spokesman for the Ethiopian Crisis Committee, Redwan Hussein, is asking for more time to organize this humanitarian aid. “For this, we have set up two exploration teams. The two assignments assess the situation on the ground. One in the west and one on the southern front, he explains.

Lots of food and medicine are ready to go to Mekele, says the UN. In fact, there would be the equivalent of less than three weeks’ worth of food in Tigray, whose crops have been destroyed by the locust invasion. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also called on Friday for the “opening of humanitarian corridors” to help the population trapped in the fighting in the Ethiopian region of Tigray, and regrets that the authorities are refusing mediation.

Sudan overwhelmed by refugee influx

The UN is also asking for urgent help to meet the needs of the Tigrayan refugees in Sudan, not ready to face another crisis. Up to 4,000 people arrive every day in Sudan from the Ethiopian Tigray,reports our correspondent in Geneva, Jérémie Lanche.Most of them had to walk for several hours and cross a river to find refuge with the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“Sudan is worth more than 1.2 million refugees,” said Abdullah Fadil, UNICEF’s representative in Sudan. There are also more than two million displaced people. People line up for gas and bread. The country has already been plagued by a number of economic and political crises. The prospect of seeing up to 200,000 refugees arriving from Tigray, Sudan, does not have the funds. This would not only destabilize Sudan but the whole region. ”

@UNICEF Sudan’s support for # Ethiopia’s refugees at Hamdayet Kassala State – where 18,000 people have crossed – provides water facilities, sanitation, nutrition and child protection with the Sudanese government, @UNSudan and NGOs. More than ever, Sudan needs help from the international community. pic.twitter.com/FWqJ4SI5sD

– Abdullah A. Fadil (@AbdullahAFadil) November 17, 2020

The second concern concerns internally displaced persons in Tigray, who are undoubtedly many more. Humanitarian authorities no longer have any way of reaching them. Tigrayan, for example, has 100,000 Eritrean refugees in four camps managed by the UNHCR and the agency has not had any news about its teams there since the beginning of the week.

► Read also: Ethiopia: the situation of refugees on the border with Sudan worries NGOs

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