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Amid rising tensions, concerns over the well-being of the people in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray have continued to mount.
Africa Today News, New York had earlier this week reported that the rebel Tigray Defence Force entered the region’s capital, Mekelle.
The near-eight months of fighting have left more the five million people in need of food aid and some 350,000 living in famine conditions according to a UN-backed estimate.
The withdrawal of Ethiopian federal forces and their unilateral humanitarian ceasefire has not yet altered the situation for those in need.
The head of the UN’s refugee agency says that the “humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate”.
The government has denied allegations that it’s blocking aid from reaching the needy.
‘The insinuation that we are trying to suffocate the Tigrayan people by denying humanitarian access and using hunger as a weapon of war is beyond the pale,’ Foreign Minister Demeke Mekenen said yesterday briefing diplomats.
The UN’s World Food Programme have also pointed out that aid deliveries could soon resume and 40,000 of those in need may be reached over the weekend.
‘The fact is that people have died, people are dying and more people will die if we are not allowed the ability to prevent it from happening and provide assistance,’ Tommy Thompson told a meeting in Geneva on a satellite phone from Mekelle.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK