Ethiopia Land Conflict Displaces Thousands, Sparking Humanitarian Crisis

Ethiopia Land Conflict Displaces Thousands, Sparking Human
CORRECTION / People who fled the war from May Tsemre, Addi Arkay and Zarima gather around in a temporarily built internally displaced people (IDP) camp to receive their first bags of wheat from the World Food Programme (WFP) in Debark, 90 kilometres of the city of Gondar, Ethiopia, on September 15, 2021. (Photo by Amanuel Sileshi / AFP) / ìThe erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Amanuel Sileshi has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [Debark, 90 kilometres of the city of Gondar] instead of [Dabat, 70 kilometres northeast of the city of Gondar]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.î

Ethiopia Land Conflict Displaces Thousands, Sparking Humanitarian Crisis

According to the United Nations, the ongoing conflict over disputed land along the borders of Ethiopia’s Tigray and Amhara regions has resulted in the displacement of approximately 29,000 people. The clashes erupted last week in the Raya Alamata district, claimed by both areas.

Authorities in Amhara have accused Tigray forces of initiating the conflict through an invasion of the district. However, former rebels in Tigray have refuted these allegations. The recent hostilities come in the wake of a two-year civil war in Ethiopia, which concluded in late 2022 with a peace agreement between the central government and Tigray forces. Nevertheless, unresolved issues such as contested territories, the disarmament of former combatants, and the plight of hundreds of thousands of displaced Tigrayans continue to fuel tensions.

Raya Alamata, previously under Tigray control until the outbreak of conflict in 2020, has since been seized by Amhara forces. Reports indicate that Tigray forces have retaliated by advancing into specific areas within the district.

The United Nations has issued an urgent appeal for life-saving assistance, noting that many displaced families seek refuge in open spaces within nearby Amhara districts such as Kobo and Sekota. Meanwhile, embassies representing seven Western countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have issued a joint statement expressing deep concern over the reported violence. They have called for immediate de-escalation of tensions and urged for measures to facilitate disarmament and demobilization efforts.

The situation underscores the ongoing fragility and complexity of Ethiopia’s post-conflict landscape, highlighting the urgent need for diplomatic intervention and humanitarian aid to address the humanitarian crisis and prevent further escalation of violence.

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