Thousands of refugees flee to Sudan from Ethiopia conflict

Thousands of refugees flee to Sudan from Ethiopia conflict

Thousands of refugees fleeing fighting in northern Ethiopia's Tigray region have crossed into neighboring Sudan, as fears grow that conflict between national and provincial forces could prompt a serious humanitarian crisis.

Eyewitnesses told Asharq Al-Awsat that hundreds of Ethiopians have fled Tigray to Sudan's Kassalam and Gedaref bordering states. Another 1,500 refugees had already arrived on Tuesday, local officials were quoted as saying.

"Fuel and food are needed urgently".

OLLAA joins Senator Warren and all the members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate who have voiced their concern about the violence taking place in Ethiopia and have called for peace, respect for human rights, and an end to the violence. "They are hungry and thirsty since they have walked long dispenses on rugged terrain".

Tigray has been under a communications blackout since the military operation was launched on November 4, making it hard to verify the situation on the ground as both sides make conflicting claims about casualties and advances.

But security sources and state media have spoken of hundreds of deaths in the mountainous state https://graphics.reuters.com/ETHIOPIA-CONFLICT/yzdvxkyewpx/ethiopia-tigray-conflict.jpg of more than 5 million people, where federal warplanes have been pounding arms and fuel depots as soldiers fight on the ground. The agency, citing unidentified officials, said that more than 200,000 Ethiopians were expected to cross into Sudan in the coming days.

Aid groups warn humanitarian needs will grow alarmingly as the conflict drags on.

Abiy believes he can quell the Tigrayan leadership militarily, diplomats told Reuters, though they are a battle-hardened group from the 1998-2000 war with Eritrea and the defeat of dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991.

Fears of a brewing humanitarian disaster in Ethiopia, as Sudan moves troops to border and prepares for refugees

More than 150 citizens of European Union countries alone are thought to be in the Tigray region, which is increasingly cut off with airports and roads closed and communications largely severed, and governments are trying to ensure their consular protection, the diplomat added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

How many people have died in the fighting?

The TPLF dominated politics in Ethiopia for almost three decades before Abiy came to power in 2018, but have complained about being sidelined under his rule and tensions have soared in recent months as they became increasingly defiant to his rule. "It looks like, unfortunately, this may not be something which can be resolved by any party in a week or two".

It remains hard for diplomats, experts and others to verify either side's claims about the fighting.

However, residents of the city of Humera lived normal lives, according to Reuters, the communications agency for the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which is rebelling against the central government.

Authorities are overwhelmed and the situation is deteriorating, he said.

The conflict in Tigray pits two heavily armed forces against each other in the heart of the strategic Horn of Africa, and experts worry that neighbours including Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia could be sucked in. The Ethiopian Press Agency posted photos that it said showed federal soldiers, backed by forces from the neighbouring Amhara region, at the airport.

Eritrean officials have not responded to requests for comment, but Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel tweeted that the Foreign Minister and presidential adviser met in Khartoum with Sudan's General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the head of the sovereign council, and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and delivered a message from Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki.

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