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Aid groups in Ethiopia decreasing as humanitarian crisis surges

MEKELLE, ETHIOPIA - MARCH 07: Units of Ethiopian army patrol the streets of Mekelle city of the Tigray region, in northern Ethiopia on March 07, 2021 after the city was captured with an operation towards Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). ( Minasse Wondimu Hailu - Anadolu Agency )
Units of Ethiopian army patrol the streets of Mekelle city of the Tigray region, in northern Ethiopia on March 07, 2021 after the city was captured with an operation towards Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) [Minasse Wondimu Hailu - Anadolu Agency]

A Turkish expert on Africa, who recently visited Ethiopia, noted that internal conflict in the country has led aid workers to flee the country, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.

Ethiopia declared a state of emergency on Monday as Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) rebels made military gains within 200 miles of the capital, Addis Ababa.

Rebels in the country's north have been embroiled in armed conflict with government forces for nearly a year now.

Millions have been internally displaced due to the Tigray conflict, according to the UN, which has warned of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Citing accusations by the UN and the Equality and Human Rights Commission on all parties over human rights violations in the country, Serhat Orakci, a researcher at the Istanbul-based Humanitarian and Social Research Centre (INSAMER), which is part of the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), told Anadolu Agency: "All those with a gun, including the Ethiopian and Eritrean army and militia forces, are committing indiscriminate human rights violations."

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Saying that the atmosphere in the country is "militarised," Orakci said people are seeking to own weapons, while also looking for food and water.

"There is no exact figure for the death toll, but the humanitarian situation is worsening as the conflict spreads," he said, while adding that "some towns were looted and abandoned."

According to a UN report, over 5.2 million people across Tigray—about more than 90 percent of the region's population— require life-saving assistance. Meanwhile, nearly 400,000 people are already facing famine-like conditions and more than 100,000 children in Tigray could suffer life-threatening malnutrition in the next 12 months, according to the UN.

Orakci added: "A significant number of the international aid organizations left the area."

Some UN-affiliated groups are working in the region, he said, but the overall figure has decreased.

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AfricaEthiopiaEurope & RussiaNewsTurkey
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