On Wednesday, the Ethiopian federal government announced that army troops are marching toward Tigray’s capital, Mekelle, to end the conflict that was erupted in the African country two-weeks ago with Tigrayan forces.
In turn, Tigray’s regional authorities responded by saying they would never surrender. “Tigray is now a hell to its enemies.”
Tigray authorities had said earlier that two civilians were killed in an airstrike on the city, a claim the federal government has denied. They also said 100,000 civilians had been displaced during fighting in the northern region and called for urgent humanitarian assistance.
The crisis has worsened the suffering for many of the people in the region who already depended on food aid.
On Tuesday, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warned of an unfolding full-scale humanitarian crisis as thousands of refugees flee the ongoing fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray region each day to seek safety in eastern Sudan.
In a statement, the UNHCR said that more than 27,000 have now crossed into Sudan through crossing points in Kassala and Gedaref states, as well as a new location further south at Aderafi, where Ethiopian refugees started crossing over the weekend.
The scale of the influx is the worst that part of the country has seen in over 20 years, according to the agency.
“Women, men and children have been crossing the border at the rate of 4,000 per day since 10 November, rapidly overwhelming the humanitarian response capacity on the ground,” said Babar Baloch, UNHCR spokesperson, briefing reporters in Geneva.