Ethiopia: deteriorating humanitarian situation in Amhara region

 Ethiopian mother with child Ethiopian mother with child Limboko on Pixabay

24 November 2021

Ethiopia’s civil war worsens, and civilians pay the price

Since the beginning of November, the conflict in Ethiopia has heightened, as has international alarm.The Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) and the forces of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) have been fighting for more than a year and now the conflict has spread to the Amhara and Afar region, reaching the special zone of Oromo. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken 'expressed serious concern about dangerous signs of military escalation' in Ethiopia.

The humanitarian situation in these regions is deteriorating. Many civilians are dying and many are at risk. Addis Standard reports the testimonies of several civilians affected by the conflict, including a resident of the town of Bati. He recounted displacement, looting and serious human rights violations, including indiscriminate bombardment of the population by the ENDF. The federal government claimed to have carried out an airstrike around Bati in a statement issued by the federal state emergency command post but denied targeting civilians. According to Legesse Tulu, head of the communication service, "The federal government has no reason to attack civilians” and “[it] targets terrorists operating in the mountains". 

However, not only the violence of war is endangering civilians. The World Food Programme (WFP) stated that the number of people requiring food aid in the north has increased to more than 9 million, and in the Amhara region alone there are 3.7 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. To date, WFP has reached more than 3.2 million people with nutritional assistance in northern Ethiopia, including 220,000 in the Amhara region. 

The spokesperson of the emergency relief and food security office for the Amhara region, Eyasu Mesfin, shared the suffering of the residents and urged international humanitarian organisations to support people in the affected area.


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Author: Eleonora Lombardi; Editor: Jasmina Saric

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