Massacre in Ethiopia threatens to trigger a full-scale humanitarian crisis

Addis Standard The city of Bahir Dar the capital of the Amhara Regional state Addis Abeba

"It has come to our attention that certain members of the US House and Senate are preparing a letter requesting the Honorable Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State, to demand an immediate ceasefire in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, followed by a peaceful dialogue amongst all parties", WE-CAN said in a statement.

On Thursday, Ethiopia's army head Berhanu Jula accused World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who served as health minister under TPLF leader Meles Zenawi, of working with the TPLF.

Tedros denied the accusation on Twitter, saying, "I am on only one side and that is the side of peace".

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said more than 1,000 people have contacted its hotline and visited its offices in Mekelle and Addis Ababa seeking help for their families.

Air Force chief Yilma Merdasa told state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate admitted they were also deploying drones, but denied claims from Tigray that these were coming from overseas.

Regional powers Kenya and Uganda have called for negotiations to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. "Soon we will be overwhelmed. if this rate continues".

Earlier this week, Ethiopia's forces captured two towns in Tigray and Mr Abiy said that his army was advancing on the Tigrayan capital, Mekelle.

The TPLF has already claimed rocket attacks on airports in the Amhara region, in Bahir Dar and Gondar, as well as at the capital of neighbouring Eritrea, both around a week ago.

"We believe that the measures taken by the government of Ethiopia are justified and judicious, and as a purely internal affair, the United States should desist from putting pressure on the Prime Minister".

"At this point neither party, from everything we hear, is interested in mediation", said Tibor Nagy, the top USA diplomat for Africa.

More than 30,000 refugees have fled to Sudan, and the fighting has moved close to almost 100,000 refugees from Eritrea at camps in northern Tigray.

Refugees in Sudan said the fighting erupted so quickly they barely knew what they were fleeing. She said that on the way to Sudan with her children, "we saw a lot of dead bodies", while upon their tired arrival, "we didn't find food".

Some of the refugees are arriving with accounts of shelling or airplanes flying overhead, but Bisschop said for now authorities are asking mainly "humanitarian questions" as they urgently seek to provide services.

According to the Daily Nation, Kenyatta warned Mekonnen, also Ethiopia's foreign minister, that the fighting has the potential to escalate into a "full-blown war". The TPLF accuses him of pursuing a vendetta against former officials.



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