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    By Cara Anna | Associated Press NAIROBI, Kenya — Ethiopia’s military has launched a “large-scale” offensive for the first time in a year in the country’s northern Tigray region, Tigray authorities alleged Wednesday, while the government countered that Tigray forces attacked first. The renewed conflict is a significant setback to mediation efforts and the work to reach millions of people starved of food and other needs. The claims followed months of regrouping by one of Africa’s largest militaries. Ethiopia’s military this week warned the public against any reporting of troop movements. Journalists haven’t been allowed into Tigray for more than a year. The Tigray conflict began in November 2020, killing thousands of people in Africa’s second-most populous country. Now, as then, both sides have acted at a moment when the world was focused elsewhere — the U.S. presidential election in 2020 and the six-month mark of the Ukraine war Wednesday. The Tigray conflict had calmed in recent months amid slow-moving mediation efforts. But last week, the spokeswoman for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed asserted to journalists that Tigray authorities were “refusing...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — More than a third of the people in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region “are suffering an extreme lack of food,” the United Nations World Food Program said in a new assessment of a region under a months-long government blockade. “Families are exhausting all means to feed themselves, with three-quarters of the population using extreme coping strategies to survive,” the WFP said in its report released Friday, noting increases in begging and relying on just one meal a day. It called for all parties in Ethiopia’s war to agree to a humanitarian cease-fire and “formally agreed transport corridors” for aid after 15 months of war. The U.N. said no aid convoy has entered the Tigray region of some 6 million people since mid-December. Separately, the U.N. humanitarian agency said less than 10% of the needed supplies, including medicines and fuel, have entered Tigray since mid-July. All international NGOs operating in Tigray have depleted their fuel, “with their staff delivering the little remaining humanitarian supplies and services on foot, where possible,” the agency said in its Friday update. Ethiopia’s...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The United Nations says food distribution in Ethiopia’s blockaded Tigray region has reached its “all-time lowest” while more than 50,000 children are thought to be severely malnourished, the latest sign of growing crisis amid efforts to end the country’s 14-month war. Thursday’s update by the U.N. humanitarian agency says food aid stocks and fuel are “almost entirely exhausted” in the Tigray region of some 6 million people, where a government blockade was imposed in late June 2021 in an attempt to keep supplies from reaching Tigray forces battling Ethiopian and allied troops. Conditions under the blockade have become so dire that the International Committee of the Red Cross in a statement this week said some doctors in Tigray are now using salt to clean wounds, handing out expired medications and reusing single-use items such as chest drains and gloves. The war also has affected Ethiopia’s neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar, where rebuilding has begun after Tigray forces retreated back into their region in late December under a drone-supported military offensive. The U.N. update says more...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The United Nations secretary-general said Wednesday he was delighted to hear “there is now a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia after more than 14 months of war, but he gave no details. Antonio Guterres’ statement on Wednesday came after a call with African Union envoy Olusegun Obasanjo following the envoy’s latest visit to Addis Ababa and the capital of Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region. Guterres said Obasanjo “expressed optimism that there is now a real opportunity for political and diplomatic resolution of the conflict.” His statement did not describe efforts by Ethiopia’s government and the rival Tigray forces, and Obasanjo’s spokesman didn’t immediately respond to questions. A new U.S. envoy for the Horn of Africa, Ambassador David Satterfield, is set to meet with Ethiopian officials on Thursday. Ethiopia’s war has killed an estimated tens of thousands of people and displaced millions. The United States says some 900,000 people in Tigray, which has been under an Ethiopian government blockade since late June, face famine conditions. The World Health Organization says medical supplies have not...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The United Nations refugee agency says an airstrike has killed three Eritrean refugees, two of them children, in Ethiopia’s Tigray region amid the country’s war. A statement the agency issued overnight did not say who carried out the airstrike that hit the Mai Aini camp on Wednesday. Ethiopia’s military has conducted several deadly airstrikes in Tigray in recent months, while Tigray ground forces earlier in the conflict attacked some Eritreans in refugee camps. The statement by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said four other refugees were injured in the strike. “Thankfully, their lives are not at risk,” he said. Thousands of refugees fled the camps early in the war amid attacks by both Tigray forces and soldiers from nearby Eritrea. Many facilities were destroyed. Grandi called on all sides to respect the rights of all civilians. Ethiopia’s war shifted in late December, when the Tigray forces fighting Ethiopia’s government withdrew back into the Tigray region after approaching the capital, Addis Ababa, A drone-supported military offensive pushed them back. The U.N.’s humanitarian agency...
    An estimated 22 million Ethiopians will require humanitarian assistance in 2022, according to a United Nations report.  Ethiopia's already high humanitarian needs are expected to rise in the coming year due to the ongoing conflict, drought, flooding, disease outbreaks and locust infestation, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated.  "Humanitarian needs remain high in several parts of Ethiopia with at least 20 million people requiring some form of humanitarian assistance until the end of the year," the report says adding the number of people depending on emergency food assistance is increasing in the conflict-stricken regions of Tigray, Afar and Amhara.  POPE FRANCIS PREACHES ON HUMILITY IN CHRISTMAS ADDRESS  Displaced Tigrayan women, one wearing an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian cross, sit in a metal shack to eat food donated by local residents at a reception center for the internally displaced in Mekele, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, on May 9, 2021.  (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) "Also, urgent action is needed to reverse deepening drought impacts in southern and eastern Ethiopia. The continuous drought-like condition in the south...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — An estimated 22 million Ethiopians will require humanitarian assistance in 2022, according to a United Nations report. Ethiopia’s already high humanitarian needs are expected to rise in the coming year due to the ongoing conflict, drought, flooding, disease outbreaks and locust infestation, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated. “Humanitarian needs remain high in several parts of Ethiopia with at least 20 million people requiring some form of humanitarian assistance until the end of the year,” the report says adding the number of people depending on emergency food assistance is increasing in the conflict-stricken regions of Tigray, Afar and Amhara. “Also, urgent action is needed to reverse deepening drought impacts in southern and eastern Ethiopia. The continuous drought-like condition in the south of Oromia and Somali regions is of particular concern,” said the report. The Amhara region, where several cities and towns were controlled by Tigray forces from July until recently, has registered the largest increase with 3.7 million people in urgent need of assistance. About 4 million internally displaced people...
    (CNN)The leader of Ethiopia's northern Tigray region announced a withdrawal of rebel forces from neighboring areas in the country on Sunday, a move that could signal the possibility of a ceasefire after 13 months of war.In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN Security Council President Abdou Abarry, dated Sunday and seen by CNN on Monday, Debretsion Gebremichael, the leader of Tigray's region, said he had "ordered those units that are outside the borders of Tigray to withdraw to the borders of Tigray with immediate effect."Having heard the call to withdraw from both the international community and the Ethiopian federal government, Gebremichael said the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) trusted that "their bold act of withdrawal will be a decisive opening act for peace," adding he hopes to commence peace negotiations following the cessation of hostilities.Tigrayan forces and Ethiopia's federal government have been engaged in conflict since November 2020, when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military offensive in Tigray following lengthy disputes over the governance of the region. The fighting has left thousands dead, displaced more...
    THE BACKGROUND: Tens of thousands of people have been killed in a war that erupted in November 2020 between Ethiopian forces and fighters from the country’s Tigray region, who dominated the national government before Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018. The war threatens to fracture one of the world’s most populous nations, with the fate of some 110 million people at stake. Some of Tigray’s 6 million people have begun starving to death under a months-long government blockade. Thousands of ethnic Tigrayans have been detained or forcibly expelled in an atmosphere stoked by hate speech from some senior officials, to the alarm of human rights groups. Last month, the government declared a state of emergency as Tigray fighters moved closer to the capital, Addis Ababa, leaving a growing number of abuses against ethnic Amhara in their wake. The Tigray forces say they are fighting to lift the blockade on their people, but they also want Abiy out. The United States and others have told their citizens to leave, while Abiy surprised the world by saying...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — New witness accounts allege that thousands of ethnic Tigrayans have been forcibly expelled, detained or killed in one of the most inaccessible areas of Ethiopia’s yearlong war in the latest wave of abuses carried out with machetes, guns and knives. Following a report by The Associated Press early last month citing people who fled, Thursday’s joint statement by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International is based on interviews with more than 30 witnesses and relatives. It comes ahead of a U.N. Human Rights Council session Friday on Ethiopia, whose government objects to what it considers meddling by the West over the war that has killed tens of thousands of people. “They said they will not be responsible for any beating and killing that would happen to us if we fail to go,” one witness told the AP late last month, saying even people who are part Tigrayan like him are targeted. Like others, he spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. “I cannot escape anywhere,” he said, noting the many checkpoints surrounding the western...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Large quantities of U.N. food earmarked for malnourished people in northern Ethiopia have been looted from warehouses, reportedly by elements of Tigrayan forces and the local population, the United Nations said Wednesday. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the small-scale theft of food from warehouses in the town of Kombolcha in the Amhara region escalated to mass lookting of warehouses across the Kombolcha area in recent days. In addition, he said three U.N. World Food Program trucks used for humanitarian operations were commandeered by military personnel for their own use on Tuesday and Wednesday. Dujarric said the exact amount of food that was stolen from the warehouses is still being determined, but it included nutritional items for malnourished children. Tens of thousands of people have been killed since November 2020 when a political falling-out between Tigray forces in the north who long dominated the national government and the current administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed erupted in fighting. Tigray forces in recent months have retaken the Tigray region and brought the fighting into the neighboring...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A United States envoy says he sees “massive progress” in talks with Ethiopia’s warring sides, but he fears it will be outpaced by “alarming” military developments in the yearlong war in Africa’s second-most populous country. Jeffrey Feltman spoke to reporters Tuesday after his latest visit to Ethiopia, where rival Tigray forces continue pushing toward the capital, Addis Ababa, and a growing number of countries tell their citizens to leave immediately. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday announced he will lead “from the battlefield” in a war that has killed an estimated tens of thousands of people. Feltman said the warring sides are now talking about elements they expect to see on the table in talks, but “the tragedy is” that while the elements are similar, views differ on which to tackle first. “Unfortunately, each side is trying to achieve its goals by military force and believe they are on the cusp of winning,” he said. The U.S. envoy said the Tigray forces must halt their advance on the capital and warned that their demands might increase...
    (CNN)Fighters from Ethiopia's northern Tigray region have been accused of gang rape and physical assault by 16 women in the neighboring Amhara region, according to a report released by Amnesty International on Wednesday. Women from the Amhara town of Nifas Mewcha told Amnesty that fighters associated with the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which has been fighting Ethiopia's central government in a year-long war in the country's north, committed widespread rape and sexual violence in mid-August.CNN has not interviewed the women and cannot independently verify the claims. "The testimonies we heard from survivors describe despicable acts by TPLF fighters that amount to war crimes, and potentially crimes against humanity. They defy morality or any iota of humanity," said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International's secretary general. Practically this has been a genocideAccording to Amnesty's interviews, one woman, a 30-year-old food seller in the town, claimed TPLF fighters raped her in front of her children, slapped and kicked her before taking food items from her house. Read More"Three of them raped me while my children were crying," she told Amnesty International. They slapped...
    (CNN)Armed groups fighting Ethiopia's central government are swelling in numbers as they advance on the capital Addis Ababa, posing the biggest threat to embattled Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's rule since a bloody year-long conflict began in the country's northern Tigray region a year ago.Nine groups opposing the government -- a broad coalition of armed groups and political actors representing different regional and ethnic interests -- said they would form a new alliance on Friday "in response to the scores of crises facing the country" and to fight against Abiy, according to a statement issued by organizers.The new bloc, which calls itself the United Front of Ethiopian Federalist and Confederalist Forces, will seek to establish a "safe transition in the country" to replace Abiy, organizer Yohanees Abraha told CNN late on Thursday. Abraha, who is with a Tigray group, added that the alliance will be formed at a signing event in Washington, DC, Friday. Crowds carrying Tigray flags and posters march on the National Mall in Washington, DC on November 4, protesting a year of war.The alliance includes fighters loyal to...
    EXCLUSIVE: Four months after the Ethiopian government called a cease-fire, violence still reigns across northern Ethiopia, leaving thousands of women and girls victimized by sexual violence. On June 28, the Ethiopian government called an immediate unilateral cease-fire in the Tigray region after violent fighting erupted in November 2020, when the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a paramilitary group, attacked a federal military base. Violence between the TPLF, Ethiopian troops, Eritrean troops and Amhara militia has escalated over the last 12 months.  ETHIOPIA DECLARES IMMEDIATE, UNILATERAL CEASE-FIRE IN TIGRAY Captured Ethiopian government soldiers and allied militia members are paraded by Tigray forces through the streets in open-top trucks, as they arrived to be taken to a detention center in Mekele, the capital of the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.  (AP Photo) In June, the government withdrew all federal troops from Tigray’s capital of Mekelle in an effort to stymie the violence that has displaced an estimated 4 million across northern Ethiopia.  But the TPLF rejected the calls for a cease-fire and mounted an offensive invasion into the neighboring regions...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — An Ethiopian government spokesman says a new airstrike has hit the capital of the country’s Tigray region following several days of such strikes last week, and a Tigray spokesman asserts that six people have been killed, as the year-long war intensifies. Government spokesman Legesse Tulu told The Associated Press that Thursday’s airstrike targeted a site in Mekele city used by rival Tigray forces to make and repair weapons. He said the site forms part of a compound belonging to Mefsin Industrial Engineering, which was also hit last week. Tigray spokesman Nahusenay Belay denied that the airstrike hit a military target and said it struck a “civilian residence,” killing six people and wounding more than 20. Three children were among the dead, he said. Photos from the scene appear to show rescuers pulling bodies from debris. Ethiopia’s government has asserted that its latest airstrikes have been confined to military targets, but Tigray forces have asserted that civilian facilities including factories and a clinic have been targeted instead. Meanwhile, fighting continues in Ethiopia’s neighboring Amhara region after...
    EXCLUSIVE: As the humanitarian crisis in northern Ethiopia continues to escalate, lawmakers on the Hill are calling on the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea to stop the violence – but Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., is looking to the U.S. Navy for help. "I'm reluctant to expose American armed forces to risk their safety at any time," Sherman said during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing this week. "But the American Navy could interrupt Eritrean commerce on the high seas at any time, and it would certainly be just to do so – as long as Eritrea [blocks] humanitarian aid to the people of Tigray." But the congressman’s call for action by U.S. forces does not appear to be universally shared by committee lawmakers.  ETHIOPIA’S AMHARA ETHNIC GROUP ACCUSES BIDEN OF IGNORING ATROCITIES A source familiar with the matter told Fox News the comment was "bizarre" and "dated" given Eritrea’s months-long aggression in the region.  Fox News could not reach House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-Penn., or Ranking Member Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, for their reaction to the comments....
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — In parts of Ethiopia’s Tigray region, people now eat only green leaves for days. At a health center last week, a mother and her newborn weighing just 1.7 pounds died from hunger. In every district of the more than 20 where one aid group works, residents have starved to death. For months, the United Nations has warned of famine. Now internal documents and witness accounts reveal the first starvation deaths since Ethiopia’s government in June imposed what the U.N. calls “a de facto humanitarian aid blockade.” Forced starvation is the latest chapter in a conflict where ethnic Tigrayans have been massacred, gang-raped and expelled. Months after crops were burned and communities were stripped bare, a new death has set in. The U.N. calls it the world’s worst hunger crisis in a decade. “You are killing people,” Hayelom Kebede, the former director of Tigray’s flagship Ayder Referral Hospital, recalled telling Ethiopia’s health ministry in a phone call this month. “They said, ‘Yeah, OK, we’ll forward it to the prime minister.’ What can I do? I just cry.”...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The United Nations human rights chief on Monday said a highly awaited joint investigation into abuses in Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict was unable to deploy to the site of one of its deadliest attacks, the alleged massacre of several hundred people in the holy city of Axum. Michelle Bachelet told the U.N. Human Rights Council that deployments to eastern and central Tigray, where witnesses have accused Ethiopian and allied forces from neighboring Eritrea of some of the worst abuses of the 10-month war, “could not proceed.” She cited “sudden changes in the security situation and in the conflict dynamics.” She did not give details. The war saw a dramatic shift in late June when the Tigray forces retook much of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region and Ethiopian and allied forces withdrew. Since then, witnesses have said much of Tigray has been far safer and more accessible within the region. The shift in the war occurred about midway in the work of the joint investigation by the U.N. human rights office and the government-created Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, carried...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A least 150 people starved to death last month in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region amid a near-complete blockade of food aid by federal and allied authorities, the Tigray forces say, while close to half a million people face famine conditions. The starvation deaths occurred in six communities as well as in camps for hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people in the town of Shire, according to a briefing late Monday by the Tigray External Affairs Office. It is the largest public assessment yet of starvation deaths, though The Associated Press reported at least 125 deaths in a single district earlier this year. Food aid ran out last month in Tigray, a region of 6 million people, as the United Nations has described intense searches and delays of humanitarian cargo by Ethiopian authorities who fear aid will reach the Tigray forces who have been fighting Ethiopian and allied forces for the past 10 months after a political falling-out. “The complete depletion of food stocks has meant that IDP camps are receiving no aid and host communities,...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The leader of Tigray forces in Ethiopia has expressed the commitment to a “negotiated end” to the nine-month war that has killed thousands and left nearly half a million people facing famine, while the United Nations secretary-general on Thursday warned “there is no military solution.” In a letter to U.N. chief Antonio Guterres, seen by The Associated Press ahead of Thursday’s U.N. Security Council meeting on the crisis, Debretsion Gebremichael said the Tigray side requires an impartial mediator, among other conditions. But he warned that the African Union, whose headquarters are in Ethiopia, “cannot provide any solution to the war” that the continental body “endorsed” early in the fighting. That complicates the AU initiative announced Thursday to appoint former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo as its special representative to the Horn of Africa. The prospect for talks between Ethiopia’s government and the Tigray leadership, who dominated the national government for 27 years before Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office, remains deeply challenging. Ethiopia’s government earlier this year declared the Tigray People’s Liberation Front a terrorist group, and...
    More On: rape Brown failed to protect women from sexual misconduct: suit Creep attempts to rape woman in Bronx building, cops say Four men — including priest — charged in gang-rape and murder of girl, 9: report Fordham University covered up rape of gay Navy student, lawsuit alleges NAIROBI, Kenya — Dozens of women have described shocking sexual assaults by Ethiopian soldiers and allied forces in the country’s Tigray conflict, says an Amnesty International report published Wednesday, and its researcher calls it striking how the perpetrators appeared to act without fear of punishment from their commanders. “All of these forces from the very beginning, everywhere, and for a long period of time felt it was perfectly OK with them to perpetrate these crimes because they clearly felt they could do so with impunity, nothing holding them back,” Donatella Rovera told The Associated Press. She would not speculate on whether any leader gave the signal to rape, which the report says was intended to humiliate both the women and their Tigrayan ethnic group. In her years of work investigating atrocities around the...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — An armed group that Ethiopia calls a terrorist organization says it’s now in alliance with Tigray forces as war spreads. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    By Cara Anna | Associated Press NAIROBI, Kenya — Ethiopia’s spreading Tigray conflict faced a dangerous escalation Friday as an Amhara regional official said Amhara forces will launch an offensive on Saturday against Tigray forces who have entered the region and taken control of a town hosting a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “This is the time for the Amhara people to crush the terrorist group,” Sema Tiruneh, the Amhara region’s head of peace and security, told the regional state-affiliated Amhara Media Corporation. “Everyone should come forward and defend themselves.” In response, Tigray forces’ spokesman Getachew Reda told The Associated Press that “we’ll extend a warm welcome.” The conflict threatens to destabilize Africa’s second most populous country, where thousands of people have already been killed in the nine-month war. In a phone interview, Getachew said Tigray forces have crossed into the Amhara region, and the Afar region, in recent weeks in an attempt to break the blockade that Ethiopia’s government has imposed on Tigray. Hundreds of thousands of people face famine conditions, and the United Nations and United States this week...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Spokesman for Tigray forces in Ethiopia vows ‘warm welcome’ after Amhara regional official threatens new offensive. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Ethiopia’s spreading Tigray conflict faces a fresh wave of fighting as an Amhara regional official says Amhara forces will launch an offensive on Saturday against Tigray forces who have entered the region and taken control of a town hosting a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “This is the time for the Amhara people to crush the terrorist group,” Sema Tiruneh, the Amhara region’s head of peace and security, told the regional state-affiliated Amhara Media Corporation on Friday. “Preparations have been underway to reverse these moves and an offensive will start tomorrow. Freedom doesn’t come cheap. Everyone should come forward and defend themselves.” Separately, Ethiopia’s foreign ministry on Friday warned that the Tigray forces’ incursion into the Amhara and Afar regions in recent weeks “is testing the federal government’s patience and pushing it to change its defensive mood which has been taken for the sake of the unilateral humanitarian cease-fire.” The incursions have displaced some 300,000 people, it said, accusing the Tigray forces of trying to destabilize Africa’s second most populous country. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press....
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Regional official in Ethiopia says Amhara forces to launch offensive Saturday against invading Tigray forces. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    (CNN)Fighters from Ethiopia's war-torn Tigray region have seized control of a UN World Heritage Site in a neighboring region, Reuters and AFP reported, citing eyewitnesses.Lalibela is home to 11 medieval monolithic churches that were carved out of rock some 900 years ago. The churches are a holy site for millions of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Some residents fled the town, located in Ethiopia's Amhara region, as the Tigrayan fighters arrived, Reuters reported on Thursday. The United States has called on the fighters to "protect this cultural heritage," State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday.CNN was not able to independently verify the reports that Lalibela was captured by Tigrayan fighters.Lalibela's churches are a holy site for millions.People stand next to the church of Saint Mercurius in Lalibela in 2019, which is covered by a shelter protecting its rock-hewn structure from erosion.Read MoreThe development comes eight months after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military offensive against Tigray's ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), sending in national troops and militia fighters from the Amhara region who were joined by forces...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The head of the United Nations World Food Program says the agency will “run out of food” in Ethiopia’s conflict-hit Tigray region on Friday, while hundreds of thousands of people there face the world’s worst famine crisis in a decade. Some 170 trucks with food and other supplies are “stuck” in the neighboring Afar region and “must be allowed to move NOW,” David Beasley tweeted on Tuesday, noting that 100 such trucks are needed per day in Tigray. “People are starving.” International pressure is again rising on Ethiopia’s government to allow badly needed food and other supplies into Tigray, where aid hasn’t reached some communities since the war started in November between Ethiopia’s military and Tigray forces. The Associated Press has reported that scores of people have begun to starve to death. Shortly after the WFP chief’s statement, Ethiopia’s government blamed the aid delivery problem on Tigray forces’ “provocations” in the Afar region, which the U.N. says has the only remaining road route into Tigray. But a WFP convoy trying to use that route was attacked...
    Insurgent forces in the Ethiopian region of Tigris launched a new offensive yesterday against what a rebel spokesman called “Agencies France Press”, forcing the government to declare a ceasefire within two weeks of the first attack. “Yesterday (Monday) we launched an offensive in Raya (south of Tigray) and were able to defeat divisions of the Central Security Forces and the Amhara forces,” Ketsev said in a telephone interview with Reda. He said rebel fighters were still “chasing” pro-government forces. “We were able to guarantee the security of most of southern Tigris,” he said, adding that the rebels had seized control of Alameda, the region ‘s largest city, and insisted he was there. He is currently unable to contact a federal military spokesman or verify Kedasev’s assurances in light of the disruption of communication networks in the region. In November, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abi Ahmed launched a military operation in the northern region of the country to disarm the Tigre People’s Liberation Front and arrest its leaders. After the capture of the state capital, Michel, the government declared victory at...
    (CNN)Food and fuel is running out in the capital of Ethiopia's war-torn northern Tigray region, a CNN producer on the ground in Mekelle reports.A communications blackout in the region, in place since Ethiopian forces withdrew and announced a unilateral ceasefire last week, has made it difficult to determine the situation in Tigray and its capital Mekelle. But on Saturday, CNN was able to reach its producer on the ground who reports a blockade on Tigray by Ethiopian forces has been ongoing since June 25.All air travel into Mekelle has been halted by the federal government and eyewitnesses tell CNN that Amhara militia and Ethiopian government forces are obstructing roads out of the city. There has been a full services blackout there -- power, phone, internet -- for nearly a week, CNN's producer reports. Because of the power outage most homes have no running water. Banks cannot operate as their network is down, so people have no access to their own money, CNN's producer added. A destroyed bridge crossing the Tekeze River is seen in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia...
    (CNN)Rebel forces in the war-torn Ethiopian region of Tigray have rejected a ceasefire offer from the central government, raising fears of further violence a day after the fighters retook the regional capital Mekelle. The recapture of the city by Tigrayan fighters and the retreat of Ethiopian government troops on Monday marked a stunning about-turn in the country's devastating eight-month civil war. In the wake of Mekelle's capture, the Ethiopian government announced a unilateral ceasefire for several months. But on Tuesday, Tigrayan forces categorically ruled out a truce, with a spokesman for the region's ruling party saying their forces would not rest until the Ethiopian military and its allied forces had left the entire region. "We are not party to and will not be part of such a joke," Getachew Reda, spokesman for the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), said in a telephone interview, reacting to the government's proposal."The capital is firmly in the hands of our forces," he said, adding that clashes with the Ethiopian army were continuing on Tuesday 30 kilometers east of the capital. Read MoreThe Ethiopian military...
    U.S. President Joe Biden condemned the six-month conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region Wednesday, calling for a cease-fire and declaring that human rights abuses "must end." "I am deeply concerned by the escalating violence and the hardening of regional and ethnic divisions in multiple parts of Ethiopia," Biden said in a White House statement. "The large-scale human rights abuses taking place in Tigray, including widespread sexual violence, are unacceptable and must end." Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed initially sent troops into Tigray in November after accusing the once-dominant regional ruling party of orchestrating attacks on federal army camps. Abiy, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, declared victory later that month when the army entered the regional capital, Mekele. But fighting continues and the half-year conflict has sparked allegations of massacres and rape by Ethiopian forces and troops from neighboring Eritrea. "Belligerents in the Tigray region should declare and adhere to a cease-fire, and Eritrean and Amhara forces should withdraw," Biden said, referring to the Amhara region, which borders Tigray to the south. Threat of famine Earlier this week, U.N. aid chief Mark...
    Washington, DC (CNN)The US has condemned Eritrea and Ethiopia for coordinating their troops to close off a key aid route to Ethiopia's war-torn Tigray region, following an exclusive CNN investigation published earlier this week that found that Eritrean soldiers were blocking critical humanitarian aid to starving and wounded civilians.In a statement on Saturday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanded Eritrea and Ethiopia "take all necessary steps to ensure that their forces in Tigray cease and desist this reprehensible conduct.""The continued presence of Eritrean forces in Tigray further undermines Ethiopia's stability and national unity. We again call upon the Government of Eritrea to remove its forces from Tigray," Blinken added. Blinken -- who has repeatedly called for the withdrawal of Eritrean and Ethiopian regional forces from the Tigray region, unfettered humanitarian access and an independent investigation into the human rights abuses being committed -- also called Saturday for a cease in violence to allow for humanitarian assistance for those suffering. "The United States condemns the conduct of forces that continue to carry out atrocities and hinder the distribution of critical...
    (CNN)The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee is calling on the Biden administration to enact sanctions in response to the ongoing human rights abuses in the Tigray region of Ethiopia after a CNN investigation found that Eritrean soldiers were blocking critical humanitarian aid to starving and wounded civilians.In an investigation published Wednesday, a CNN team witnessed soldiers from neighboring Eritrea, some disguising themselves in old Ethiopian military uniforms, manning checkpoints in war-torn Tigray, obstructing and occupying critical aid routes, and roaming the halls of one of the region's few operating hospitals and threatening medical staff.Following the publication of CNN's investigation, the United Nations confirmed Wednesday that the "blockades by military forces" had severely impeded the ability for assistance to reach rural areas where the humanitarian crisis is worst.GOP Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas told CNN on Thursday that "there have been ample, credible reports from human rights groups and journalists on the continuing presence of Eritrean troops, and reports that have implicated them, and other armed actors, in human rights abuses, rape and other atrocities. "It is clear...
    (CNN)The United Nations has confirmed that military forces are impeding humanitarian access to parts of Ethiopia's war-torn Tigray region, after an exclusive CNN investigation revealed that Eritrean troops were coordinating with Ethiopian forces to cut off critical aid routes.A CNN team traveling through Tigray's central zone witnessed Eritrean soldiers, some disguising themselves in old Ethiopian military uniforms, blocking aid to starving populations more than a month after Ethiopia's Nobel Peace Prize winning leader Abiy Ahmed pledged to the international community that they would leave.In the UN's first statement confirming the obstruction of aid, Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday that "blockades by military forces" had severely impeded the ability for assistance to reach rural areas where the humanitarian crisis is worst. "Of the three million people targeted to receive emergency shelter and non-food items, only 347,000 people, that is about 12 per cent, had been reached since 3 May. With the start of the rainy season, our humanitarian colleagues warn that it is critical that aid agencies can provide minimal dignified shelter for the displaced," the statement added. Eritrean troops disguised as...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A U.N. humanitarian official warned Thursday of an ongoing crisis in Ethiopia’s conflict-torn Tigray region, pointing to targeted civilian killings, over 500 recent rape cases, an increasing number of people fleeing violence, 4.5 million people needing food, and children on the brink of starvation. Wafaa Said, the deputy humanitarian coordinator for Ethiopia who spent 2 1/2 months in Tigray, said in a virtual briefing to U.N. members that the impact of the crisis isn’t fully known because of communications blackouts in large parts of the region and lack of access to vast areas, especially rural areas. “Yet what is already known is quite alarming,” he said. The U.N.’s humanitarian partners continue to receive corroborated reports of targeted civilian killings, sexual and gender-based violence, forced displacement, restricted movements of civilians and extensive looting of civilian property, Said noted. No one knows how many thousands of civilians or combatants have been killed since months of political tensions between Ethiopian President Abiy Ahmed’s government and the Tigray leaders who once dominated Ethiopia’s government exploded in November into war. Eritrea,...
    Johannesburg — The medical charity Doctors Without Borders has revealed details from the gruesome war playing out virtually out of sight in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, reporting that government forces executed civilians in cold blood. Since the violence erupted in Tigray months ago Ethiopia's government has imposed a media blackout, preventing both foreign and local journalists from getting into the region at all until recently. Some journalists have started to get near to the fighting now, but with little freedom to move around, so the veil of secrecy is being lifted slowly, and we keep hearing of horrific violence long after the fact.   That's why the eyewitness account from Doctors Without Borders — known by its French acronym MSF — of recent brutality has become a key piece of evidence in the ongoing conflict.  The group said its clearly marked MSF car and two public buses travelling behind it were stopped on a road by Ethiopian soldiers. Their driver was beaten but allowed back into the vehicle, but the organization said the passengers on the buses were offloaded, the...
    Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said any soldier responsible for raping or looting would be held accountable Ethiopia’s prime minister has acknowledged for the first time that troops from Eritrea have been in the Tigray region following the outbreak of conflict in November. For months both countries have denied that troops crossed the border. Abiy Ahmed told MPs that Eritrean forces came fearing they would be attacked by Tigray’s regional fighters. The conflict began after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) captured military bases in the region. The TPLF had been the ruling party in the northern Ethiopian region, but had a massive fall-out with Mr Abiy over the future of Ethiopia’s ethnically based federal system and its role in government. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes in Tigray over the last five months. Despite the TPLF being ousted from power in Tigray at the end of November and Mr Abiy declaring that the conflict was over, fighting is continuing in parts of the region. ‘Any damage is unacceptable’ Mr Abiy, a former Nobel Peace Prize winner, did...
    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced during a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday “acts of ethnic cleansing” in western Tigray and mentioned the presence of forces from Eritrea and the neighboring Amhara region which “must go”. “The allegations, or rather the real accusations, of ethnic cleansing of Tigrayans (made) by US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken during his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 10, 2021, is a judgment completely unfounded and misleading towards the Ethiopian government, ”the ministry said in a statement released on Saturday. “Nothing, during or after the end of the main policing operation in Tigray, can be identified or defined in any way as targeted, intentional ethnic cleansing against anyone in the region. That is why the Ethiopian government vigorously opposes such accusations, ”the ministry continued. The press release also concludes by reaffirming the Ethiopians’ will to maintain their relationship with the United States, while “continuing to have frank exchanges on bilateral and regional issues”. The Ethiopian government “is committed to working closely with the current US administration to strengthen...
    United Nations — U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock warned Thursday that "a campaign of destruction" is taking place in Ethiopia's embattled Tigray province, saying at least 4.5 million people need assistance and demanding that forces from neighboring Eritrea accused of committing atrocities in Tigray leave Ethiopia.   As the Tigray crisis enters its fourth month, Lowcock said, the humanitarian crisis is deteriorating and "multiple credible and widely corroborated reports from Tigray... speak of widespread atrocities, involving mass killings, rapes and abductions of civilians, ongoing fighting across the region" as well as the destruction of harvests and key agricultural machinery. People gather around the body of a young man that witnesses say was shot by security forces after breaking a curfew, in the city of Mekele, capital of the Tigray region in Ethiopia, February 27, 2021. EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP/Getty Lowcock's remarks to a closed meeting of the U.N. Security Council, obtained by CBS News, for the first time singled out Eritrean forces as fighting on the side of the Ethiopian government, and warned of possible famine "if food does not get through and...
    (CNN)US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Saturday for the withdrawal of Eritrean and Ethiopian regional forces from the Tigray region of Ethiopia and urged an end to killings and human rights violations there.His call came a day after investigations by CNN and Amnesty International into the massacre of civilians in two separate assaults in the northern Tigray region late last year.Thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military operation against leaders in the Tigray region. CNN has previously reported that soldiers from neighboring Eritrea have perpetuated many of the extrajudicial killings, assaults and human rights abuses in the Tigray region."The United States is gravely concerned by reported atrocities and the overall deteriorating situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia," Blinken said in a statement Saturday. Massacre in the mountains"We strongly condemn the killings, forced removals and displacements, sexual assaults, and other extremely serious human rights violations and abuses by several parties that multiple organizations have reported in Tigray." He added that "those responsible for them must be held accountable."Read...
    WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday called on the African Union and other international partners to help address a deepening crisis in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region as he condemned alleged atrocities in fighting there. Blinken's statement suggested growing frustration with the response so far from Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea to what America's top diplomat described as a "worsening humanitarian crisis." His remarks came a day after Amnesty International released a report accusing Eritrean forces of killing hundreds of civilians in Tigray in a 24-hour period last year, an incident it described as a potential crime against humanity. Eritrea rejected the accusations. "The United States is gravely concerned by reported atrocities and the overall deteriorating situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia," Blinken said. "We ask international partners, especially the African Union and regional partners, to work with us to address the crisis in Tigray, including through action at the U.N. and other relevant bodies." Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's federal army ousted the former local ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), from the...
    By Michelle Nichols NEW YORK (Reuters) - A senior United Nations official warned on Friday that "the risk of atrocity crimes in Ethiopia remains high and likely to get worse" if the country does not urgently combat ethnic violence, stigmatization, hate speech and religious tensions. U.N. Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Alice Wairimu Nderitu, said she had received reports of serious human rights violations and abuses by the parties to the conflict in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region and their allies. "These include extra-judicial killings, sexual violence, looting of property, mass executions and impeded humanitarian access," Nderitu said in a statement, adding that she had also received "disturbing reports of attacks against civilians based on their religion and ethnicity" in other parts of the country. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered air strikes and a ground offensive against Tigray's former ruling party - the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) - after regional forces attacked federal army bases in the region on Nov. 4. The TPLF withdrew from the regional capital, Mekelle, and major cities, but low-level fighting has continued....
    Debretsion Gebretsion is leading a military campaign against federal government forces in Tigray Ethiopian and Eritrean forces have waged a “devastating and genocidal war” in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the region’s ousted leader has said. Debretsion Gebremichael urged the international community to investigate the alleged atrocities. The Ethiopian government said his claims were “unfounded”, and his forces were guilty of “horrendous crimes”. Conflict broke out in November after Mr Debretsion’s forces captured Ethiopian government military bases in Tigray. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy responded by ordering a ground and air offensive, which led to his troops capturing the regional capital, Mekelle, on 28 November Mr Debretsion fled the capital with fighters from his Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), and vowed to resist federal control over the region. The conflict has led to about two million people, or a third of Tigray’s population, being displaced. What exactly did the TPLF leader say? This was the first time in more than two months that Mr Debretsion had spoken in public. An audio recording of his comments, lasting for about 20 minutes, was broadcast...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said Wednesday it has received information that over 80 civilians were killed early Tuesday in the latest massacre in the western Benishangul-Gumuz region. “These harrowing killings have to stop,” senior adviser Aaron Maasho said. “For the umpteenth time, we call on authorities at the federal and regional level to enhance coordination among themselves and strengthen their security presence in the area.” The Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the killings occurred in the region’s Metekel zone, Dibate county. It spoke to witnesses who said “women and children fell victim in great numbers.” The report cited witnesses as saying more than 100 civilians were killed and some bodies have still not been collected from the scene. Ethnic violence poses a major challenge to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as he tries to promote national unity in a country with more than 80 ethnic groups. More than 100 people were killed in a massacre in the Metekel zone last month, a day after Abiy visited the region and spoke about the need to end...
    Contradicting claims from Ethiopian authorities, a senior military leader confirmed that military forces were deployed from neighboring Eritrea during the conflict in the Tigray region. Ethiopia's Maj. Gen. Belay Seyoum's comments confirming the military presence were published Wednesday. "An alien army, we didn’t want, came in," Seyoum said in the translated remarks. "We know the problems that are being raised. It’s painful, but who let them in?" Seyoum emphasized that the forces were not welcome, adding: “My conscience does not allow me to say, ‘Eritrean army, come and help us!’ We can solve our own problems on our own." Tigray is the northernmost region of Ethiopia, bordering Eritrea to the north and Sudan to the west. Tens of thousands of Tigrayans have fled the country into Sudan amid violence that has raged since Nov. 4, when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed began a military assault after accusing the Tigray People's Liberation Front of attacking federal troops at a military base. In September, Tigray held what Abiy called an "illegal" election in which the TPLF won 98% of the...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A senior Ethiopian military official has confirmed the presence of security forces from neighboring Eritrea in the deadly conflict in his country’s northern Tigray region, contradicting the Ethiopian government’s denials. The United States last month said it believed Eritrean troops were active in Ethiopia, a “grave development,” as people fleeing the Tigray region alleged that Eritrean forces were involved in the fighting, targeting and abducting Eritrean refugees from camps near the Eritrean border as well as scores of Tigray residents. Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who was awarded the prize for making peace with Eritrea in 2018, had “guaranteed” that Eritrean forces had not entered Tigray, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last month. Eritrea, described by rights groups as one of the world’s most repressive countries, is a bitter enemy of the fugitive Tigray government, which once dominated Ethiopia’s government but was sidelined after Abiy took power and now sees his rule as illegitimate. Ethiopia’s government calls the Tigray leaders criminals. The comments by Maj. Gen. Belay Seyoum, leader of the...
    A Nobel peace prize nominee has accused the director-general of the World Health Organisation of allegedly aiding genocide in Ethiopia.  American economist David Steinman accused WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, 55, of being a 'crucial decision maker' who directed Ethiopia's security forces actions from 2013 to 2015.  He accused Tedros of being one of three officials who were in charge of the security services over that period, during which the 'killing' and 'torturing' of Ethiopians took place.  Tedros was the country's foreign minister until 2016 when his Tigray People's Liberation Front party was in power.  The WHO's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (pictured) was today accused of aiding genocide in Ethiopia RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Swaziland Prime Minister is the first world leader to die of... Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliner flies first commercial right in... Share this article Share Raised in Tigray, he also served as Ethiopia's health minister from 2005 to 2012 before being elected WHO director-general in 2017, the first African to take the role.    Mr Steinman, who...
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