UNITED NATIONS/ADDIS ABABA, July 2
The United Nations said on Friday conflict could rapidly flare again in Ethiopia‘s Tigray and that famine was worsening in the region, where local fighters declared victory this week after an eight-month war with central government and allied forces.
Recent fighting in the Tigray region of Ethiopia has resulted in a famine that is now affecting more than 400,000 people, UN officials say.
In its first public meeting on the crisis, members of the UN Security Council warned that as many as 33,000 children were severely malnourished.
Officials said that a further 1.8m people were on the brink of famine as a result of the eight-month conflict.
They also warned of further clashes despite the declaration of a ceasefire.
The Ethiopian government, which has been fighting regional forces in Tigray, declared a unilateral ceasefire on Monday.
However, rebels vowed to drive their “enemies” from the region and there have been reports of sporadic clashes as pressure builds internationally for all sides in the conflict to pull back.
The fighting between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Ethiopian government forces has already left thousands of people dead and more than two million people have been displaced.
All sides in the conflict have been accused of carrying out mass killings and human rights violations.
Fighting must stop
“All groups must stop fighting to allow humanitarian aid to get through unimpeded and to protect civilians…It is essential that we act fast and without any further obstruction,” Mr. Rajasingham said.
Both officials strongly condemned targeted attacks which have taken the lives of at least 12 humanitarian workers, including three from Médecins Sans Frontières staffers, just last week.
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