Ethiopia: 30,000 children could starve in Tigray

About 30,000 malnourished children are at risk of dying in the Ethiopian state of Tigray, in the north of that East African country, warned the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) this Friday in Geneva.

Without humanitarian access to increase our assistance, some 30,000 severely malnourished children in extremely inaccessible areas are at great risk of dying.” said James Elder, a UNICEF spokesman in Geneva.

United Nations humanitarian agencies warned this Thursday that millions of people in Tigray needed food aid, including 350,000 at risk of starvation, and denounced the blockade of aid by “armed groups”.

The United States and the European Union (EU) launched an appeal, also on Thursday, on the eve of a summit of G7 leaders in the United Kingdom, for determined action to combat the hunger outbreak in the region. .

Abiy Ahmed, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, launched a military operation last November 4 against the Tigray authorities, who for months had been challenging the central power in various ways, including holding local elections in September 2020.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the party that de facto led Ethiopia for decades until Abiy came to power in 2018, won with an overwhelming 98% majority of the votes counted.

The TPLF victory in Tigray, contrary to the provisions of Addis Ababa, which, on the grounds of the pandemic, had postponed the nationwide elections, scheduled for August 2020, was followed in early November by the invasion of the federal army, which justified it as a response to alleged TPLF attacks on federal military installations in that state.

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On November 28, after the military takeover of Tigray’s capital, Mekele, Abiy Ahmed announced the end of the offensive, but the United Nations and several international organizations have reported that hostilities continue on the ground and that hundreds of thousands of civilians are still in the area. without access to humanitarian aid and at risk of famine.

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