Conflict in Tigray prevents delivery of humanitarian aid

An Ethiopian soldier points to bullet holes left after an attack An Ethiopian soldier points to bullet holes left after an attack EDUARDO SOTERAS (AFP)

 04 December 2020

The United Nations warned of a possible humanitarian crisis in Tigray 

Since last November, the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region has involved clashes between the  two parties: the Tigray Region Special Forces led by the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF); and an alliance of the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF), special forces in Afar and Amhara, and the Eritrean Defence Forces. However, the ongoing fighting complicates efforts to provide humanitarian aid by the United Nations (UN), which has access to territory under federal control under the agreement.

The TPLF ruled  for almost 30 years before anti-government protests brought Abiy to power in 2018. Tensions then rose dramatically after Tigray went ahead with regional elections in September, despite the national ban on voting due to the coronavirus pandemic, and  denounced Abiy as an illegitimate leader. The Tigrayan head has vowed to continue fighting until all the federal "invaders" are out of the Tigrayan territory.

Due to the information blackout, the UN is unable to fully assess the situation in Tigray and fears that there is a risk of a humanitarian crisis. The displaced people who managed to escape the conflict all denounce the heavy violence they experienced and saw, but there is no evidence to verify it and the parties involved have denied all allegations. After the accords with the federal government, the UN requires agreement with all parties involved in the conflict to ensure free and unconditional access to Tigray.


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Author: Carla Pintor

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