Guterres: ‘end suffering in Ethiopia’s Tigray region’

A woman waits outside church in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia A woman waits outside church in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia Photo by Mesfin Tesfaye on Unsplash

03 February 2021

UN High Commissioner for Refugees described the situation as ‘extremely grave’

The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed serious concerns over the current situation in the Tigray, the northernmost region of Ethiopia. In a statement released by his spokesperson on 2 February 2021, Mr. Guterres welcomed the ‘positive engagement’ of the Ethiopian Government during recent visits by UN officials, including a recently concluded mission by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, but vigorously emphasised the need for urgent action to address the acute humanitarian needs of all those at risk.

During his mission, Mr. Grandi travelled to the southern part of the Tigray region, and met with refugees at the Mai Aini Refugee Camp, who reported being cut off from desperately needed humanitarian aid for several weeks due to the ongoing conflict, with little to no access to food, water, healthcare or safe shelter.

Three months have passed since heavy fighting began between Government troops and forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the northern region. The combination of warfare, the COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia and a locust outbreak led to the current emergency food situation in the region, where two million people now face shortages. 

Eritrean refugees hosted in the two large refugee camps located in the northernmost part of the Tigray are among the many civilians caught in the crossfire and, according to UN estimates, over one million people have been internally displaced by the fighting. Three months into this devastating conflict, the humanitarian response remains limited and inadequate due to a failure to secure safe access to those most in need. Time is running out with the destruction of health facilities, pillaging of basic supplies, and lack of clean water and sanitation presenting a significant humanitarian crisis.

The UN Chief has called for continued, impartial and unhindered humanitarian access to all affected areas in the Tigray region.


To read more, visit:


Author: Giulia Ferrara; Editor: Xavier Atkins

Read 432 times