Ethiopian civil war

  1. Concern over lack of medicine in northern Ethiopia

    BBC World Service

    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it is profoundly concerned over the lack of medicine and medical equipment in northern Ethiopia, where a conflict has been fought for more than a year.

    The ICRC says in Amhara and Afar regions people with chronic diseases are dying every day and women are giving birth at home, as health facilities are not functional.

    Many are without electricity or water and some have closed for lack of supplies.

    The ICRC says the ability to deliver humanitarian assistance is seriously hampered by a combination of fighting, insecurity and restrictions.

  2. 108 civilians killed in Ethiopia airstrikes - UN

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Men holding Ethiopian flags
    Image caption: Both the UN and US President Joe Biden have raised concerns over continued aerial attacks

    At least 108 civilians have been killed by airstrikes in northern Ethiopia in the past two weeks, the United Nations (UN) said.

    Some 75 others had been injured in strikes allegedly carried out by the Ethiopian air force, the UN human rights office said.

    The federal government has previously denied attacking civilians in Tigray.

    On Thursday, Addis Ababa asked the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom, to stop talking about the situation in Tigray, which he has described as "hell-like".

    Dr Tedros, who comes from the region, said a blockade was preventing medicines from reaching people in the area.

  3. Nobel Prize board urges Abiy to end Ethiopia war

    Kalkidan Yibeltal

    BBC News

    Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Berit Reiss-Andersen, Ethiopia's Prime Minister and 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Abiy Ahmed Ali and member of the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize comittee Henrik Syse are seen on stage during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony 2019 at Oslo City Town Hall on 10 December 2019 in Oslo, Norway.
    Image caption: Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 and declared war on rebels in northern Ethiopia a year later

    The Norwegian Nobel Committee has joined international voices calling on Ethiopia's prime minister to end the country's 14-month-long civil war.

    In a statement it said Abiy Ahmed - who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 - had a special responsibility to see an end to the bloodshed.

    Just a year after getting the prize for ending a long war with Eritrea, Mr Abiy sent troops to fight rebels in the northern Tigray region.

    The war has forced millions from their homes. The government has been accused of blocking aid and there have been multiple allegations of atrocities being committed by all sides.

    Mr Abiy’s spokesperson Billene Seyoum had previously said that the Nobel Peace Prize was not "a shackle for inaction when the country is threatened".

    The calls from the Committee are expected to increase the pressure to find a peaceful resolution for the war.

  4. WHO decries 'hell' in Tigray over blockade

    The Newsroom

    BBC World Service

    A member of the Afar Special Forces stands with a machine gun in a damaged house in the outskirts of the village of Bisober, Tigray Region, Ethiopia, on December 09, 2020
    Image caption: More than a year of war in northern Ethiopia has created a humanitarian crisis

    The World Health Organization (WHO) says that despite repeated requests to the Ethiopian government, it still has no access to Tigray - where 14 months of war have created a humanitarian crisis.

    A WHO senior official said he'd received letters from doctors in the northern region who had run out of basic treatments for illnesses such as diabetes.

    The head of the organisation, Tedros Ghebreyesus - who is from Tigray - said the region's population of seven million had been under siege for more than a year.

    He said this had created a "hell" in the region and was an "insult to our humanity to allow a situation like this to continue".

    "Nowhere in the world are we witnessing hell like in Tigray," he said.

  5. Drone strikes kill 17 in Tigray - aid workers

    Kalkidan Yibeltal

    BBC News

    New drone strikes have killed at least 17 people in Ethiopia’s war-torn region of Tigray, aid workers have said.

    The incidents follow two similar attacks on two camps last week which killed around 60 refugees and internally displaced people.

    Yesterday a flour mill was hit. Most those killed in the air strike in the town of Mai Tsebri were reportedly women.

    The BBC has not independently confirmed the latest reports.

    While there has been a lull in fighting on the ground after Tigrayan forces retreated from neighbouring Amhara and Afar, aerial attacks have continued forcing the United Nations (UN) to suspend operations in some areas of Tigray last week.

    The United Nations Children's Fund has said that attacks on displacement camps could amount to war crimes.

    Both the United Nations and US President Joe Biden have raised concerns over continued aerial attacks causing civilian deaths.

  6. Aid agencies halt work in Tigray zone after air strike

    Ethiopian government forces in Amhara region
    Image caption: Government forces have been fighting rebels in this part of Ethiopia for more than a year

    Aid agencies have suspended operations in a zone of Ethiopia's northern Tigray region where dozens of people were killed in an air strike, the UN says.

    "The ongoing threats of drone strikes" left them little choice but to halt activities, the UN’s humanitarian agency Ocha has said.

    Aid workers over the weekend said that 56 people had been killed and dozens more injured in an air strike on a camp for the displaced.

    It came as the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) spokesman, Getachew Reda, accused Eritrea of launching fresh attacks against the group’s fighters. It has not responded to the accusations.

    Ethiopian government forces, bolstered by Eritrean troops, have been fighting rebels in Tigray for more than a year in a war that has killed thousands of people.

  7. UN may halt aid operations in Tigray over shortages

    Peter Mwai

    BBC Reality Check

    A worker carries sacks of food aid in Mekele, the capital of Ethiopia's Tigray region - 19 June 2021
    Image caption: Very little food aid has reached Tigray in the last six months

    The UN has warned that it will have to suspend operations by its aid agencies if no supplies are allowed into Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray soon.

    No humanitarian aid has reached the region since mid-December and a spokesperson for the UN chief says the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate.

    “Several UN and non-governmental organisations will be forced to cease operations if humanitarian supplies, fuel and cash are not delivered to Tigray very soon,” Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN's secretary general, told journalists in New York.

    He said aid agencies were short of cash to buy local supplies and pay local staff and were also running out of fuel to transport aid and staff.

    Quote Message: Without fuel we can't move - you can't move food trucks" from Stéphane Dujarric
    Stéphane Dujarric

    Renewed fighting and insecurity have affected the movement of humanitarian supplies along the only available route from Semera, the regional capital of the neighbouring Afar region, to Tigray through Abala.

    The UN estimates that 100 trucks need to be getting into Tigray daily but since mid-July less 12% than of the needed trucks have made it through.

    Read more:

  8. Eritrean refugees killed in Tigray airstrike - UN

    BBC World Service

    Ethiopian security forces patrol at street after Ethiopian army took control of Hayk town of Amhara city from the rebel Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF)
    Image caption: The UN has called on government forces and Tigrayan rebels to respect civilians

    Three Eritrean's living in a refugee camp in Ethiopia's Tigray region were killed in an airstrike on Wednesday, the UN says.

    Two of the dead were children.

    Several other people were injured in the attack on the Mai Aini camp.

    The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said refugees should never be a target.

    He called on Ethiopian government forces and Tigrayan rebels to respect civilians.

    Conflict in the region broke out in November 2020.

  9. Ethiopia denies it mistreated expelled Tigrayans

    Kalkidan Yibeltal

    BBC News

    Ethiopian soldiers and Prime Minister Abiy
    Image caption: In December the United Nations ordered an investigation into abuses carried out during the conflict in Ethiopia

    Ethiopia has dismissed accusations by a new Human Rights Watch report that said thousands of ethnic Tigrayans deported from Saudi Arabia were facing detention and forced disappearance upon arrival.

    The accusations were described as "fabrications" by a government spokesperson.

    The report is part of a concerted effort to put pressure on the government, Dina Mufti at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

    “Human Rights Watch has several fictions about Ethiopia,” Mr Dina said. “This is one of those fictions.”

    Rights groups have often accused authorities of profiling ethnic Tigrayans living in the capital Addis Ababa and other cities since war broke out 14 months ago in the northern part of the country.

    Closures of businesses owned by Tigrayans and arbitrary detentions are some of the allegations raised against the government.

    Read more: Mass arrests and ethnic profiling haunt Addis Ababa

  10. Patients dying in Tigray hospital - doctors

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Injured residents in Togoga, a village about 20km west of Mekele, where an alleged airstrike hit a market leaving an unknown number of casualties, receives medical treatments at the Ayder referral hospital in Mekele, the capital of Tigray region, Ethiopia, on June 23, 2021.
    Image caption: Tigray and other parts of northern Ethiopia have been devastated by conflict

    Medical staff in Ethiopia's war-hit Tigray region say patients - including children - are dying as a result of a blockade that's preventing medicine and other life-saving supplies from reaching hospitals.

    Doctors from the region's biggest facility in Mekelle say surgeries have not been possible due to a lack of intravenous fluids and anaesthetics.

    In a statement, staff at Ayder Referral Hospital say frequent electricity cuts and an irregular supply of oxygen have resulted in patient deaths while the neurosurgery team has no working scanners.

    The Ethiopian government and officials from the Tigray People's Liberation Front have blamed each other for impeding the delivery of aid including medical supplies.

    The UN recently said some health servcies had been halted in Tigray due to a shortage of essential drugs.

  11. Video content

    Video caption: My art channels the pain from Ethiopia's war

    US-based Tigrayan artist Gabrielle Tesfaye uses her work to share her feelings over the civil war.

  12. Ethiopian civil war divides diaspora in the US

    Video content

    Video caption: Ethiopian civil war divides diaspora in the US

    The conflict has deeply divided the Ethiopian community in Washington DC - the largest in the US.

  13. UN orders investigation into Ethiopia war abuses

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Members of a military music band march during a rally in Addis Ababa
    Image caption: The war has caused a humanitarian crisis with millions in need of food supplies, the UN says

    The United Nations Human Rights Council has ordered an international investigation into abuses carried out during the conflict in Ethiopia.

    The European Union had called for a special sitting of the council in Geneva after rights groups said violations committed during more than a year of conflict might amount to war crimes.

    Ethiopia has dismissed the move as politically motivated. The UN rights council again warned that all sides in the civil war were committing severe violations.

    It said there was a risk to the entire region and called on all parties to pull back.

  14. All sides in Ethiopia war violating rights - UN

    BBC World Service

    A man looks at a destroyed heavy artillery equipment in Hayk, Ethiopia
    Image caption: The war which started in the northern area of Tigray last year has since spread to other parts of the country

    The United Nations (UN) has again warned that all sides in Ethiopia's civil war are committing severe human rights violations.

    There was a risk to the entire region and all parties must pull back, the UN said at a meeting of its Human Rights Council in Geneva.

    Instigated by the European Union, the session will decide whether to appoint an international team to investigate violations that rights groups say may amount to war crimes.

    Ethiopia has dismissed the move as politically motivated. The meeting would embolden the Tigrayan rebels, its ambassador in Geneva said.

    Mass arrests by the government continue, and 5-7,000 people are detained, including UN staff, the international body says.

  15. UN due to hold urgent session on Ethiopia

    Imogen Foulkes

    BBC News, Geneva

    Ethiopian security forces patrol at street after Ethiopian army took control of Hayk town of Amhara city from the rebel Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) in Ethiopia on December 16, 2021.
    Image caption: The conflict in Tigray broke out in November last year

    The United Nations Human Rights Council will hold an urgent session on Ethiopia, amid reports of further atrocities in the Tigray region.

    The Friday session, which was requested by the European Union, will decide whether to appoint an international team to investigate violations that human rights groups say may amount to war crimes.

    The conflict in Tigray broke out in November last year, when the Ethiopian government sent troops into the region to put down the Tigray People’s Liberation Front - after its fighters captured federal military bases there.

    Just last month the UN produced a 100-page report detailing major violations in Tigray, including the shelling of towns, killing of civilians, and widespread sexual violence.

    This week Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch detailed further atrocities: mass detention, torture, and the forced displacement of large sections of the Tigrayan population.

    UN aid agencies have limited access – many communities are reportedly on the verge of starvation.

    The European Union says the UN Human Rights Council has a moral obligation to prevent further violations, and ensure justice for victims – member states want the council to appoint international investigators.

    Ethiopia has dismissed the move as politically motivated.