Humanitarian organizations suspended their work in an area of the Ethiopian region of Tigré that was affected by an airstrike against a camp for displaced people, the UN reported on Sunday.
“Humanitarian partners have suspended their activities in the area due to the continuing threat of drone attacks,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told AFP.
According to preliminary information from OCHA, the attack, carried out around midnight on Friday in the northwestern town of Dedebit, “caused dozens of civilian casualties, including deaths.”
Tigré rebels on Saturday accused the government of carrying out a drone attack in which they said 56 people were killed.
But it was impossible to independently verify the claims because access to Tigré is severely restricted and communications are cut off in the region.
According to OCHA, the lack of essential supplies, in particular medical equipment and fuel, “is seriously disrupting the response to the wounded and has led to the near collapse of the health system in Tigré.”
“The intensification of air strikes is alarming, and we remind all parties to the conflict once again that they must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law,” the UN agency added.
The attack came as the Ethiopian government announced an amnesty for several senior officials of the Tigré People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and other opposition leaders, in an attempt to promote “national reconciliation.”
The TPLF took up arms after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent the federal army to Tigré in November 2020 to dismiss regional authorities (belonging to the TPLF), who questioned its authority and whom the premier accused of attacking. military bases.
The TPLF responded with a counteroffensive and progressed to neighboring Amhara and Afar regions, before retreating in late December on its Tigré fiefdom in the face of an offensive by federal forces.
The conflict has left thousands of deaths.
This week, three other people lost their lives in an aerial bombardment of a refugee camp in the region, according to the UN.
The African Affairs office of the US State Department called these attacks “unacceptable” and demanded, on Twitter, the “immediate end of hostilities”, the “rapid launch of an inclusive national dialogue” and that “the help can easily reach all Ethiopian communities in need. “
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