Ethiopians Run Away from Tigray Capital in Fear of a Looming attack.


Tigray is a northern state in Ethiopia which borders Eritrea and Sudan and is home to over 5 million people. Over the past few weeks, leaders of Tigrayan forces in northern Ethiopia started launching attacks aimed at sparking a war in Africa’s horn. Currently, they continue to attack foreign and government troops based and coming into the Tigrayan region. Because of the conflict, hundreds of people on both sides have died, and the war threatens to destabilize other parts of Ethiopia. A large number of Ethiopians have run away from the northern state in Ethiopia into Sudan, seeking safer shelter.

Last Week the United Nations refugee agency and local officials stated that the number of people running away into Sudan had risen to at least 20,000. According to UNHCR figures, more than 12,500 refugees have run away and crossed at Hamdayat and nearly 7,500 to the south at al-Luqdi from Nov 7 to 14th.

Military Operations

To contain the rebels in Tigray, the Ethiopian government launched military operations to restore the rule of law in the region. The rebellious Tigrayan troops have, however, restricted access to the area and stopped any and all communication in the region. Due to this, the Ethiopian government has used airstrikes to destroy equipment controlled by the insurgent Tigray forces. So far, some of the airstrikes have proved to be successful against the Tigrayans. But some airstrike, like the recent one, hit a university in Tigray, injuring numerous students.

This week Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed announced that the army would move in for the last stage of an offensive to capture the rebellious regional leaders. Mekele Tigrays capital is a heavily inhabited city of a half-million people. Due to this, the Ethiopian prime minister cautioned the millions of individuals of no pity if they didn’t detach themselves from the Tigray leaders in time. Additionally, the leader told Tigray residents to stay indoors and disarm as the army with tanks was given the order to move in. Abiy assured that his government would protect all civilians.

People run away from Tigray

However, people living in Tigray continue to run away from the capital. They chose not to stay indoors, as advised by the country’s prime minister. The individuals fear the imminent assault ordered by prime minister Abiy Ahmed will cause their deaths. Moreover, food and other supplies are running out in the Tigray region, with over 6 million people. Since last week so far, more than 40,000 refugees have crossed into Sudan.

Nearly half the refugees arriving in Sudan are children. Local communities and humanitarian workers in the region say they struggle with numerous issues. They state their main struggle is to provide food, shelter, and care for the people arriving. The spread of COVID-19 is yet another concern for the workers assisting the refugees. The number of refugees keeps growing, and maintaining social distancing in the camp has become very challenging.

Some refugees gave their accounts of the horrific fighting going on in the Tigray capital, pleading for it to stop. Several refugees told the Associated Press that Ethiopian forces near the border with Sudan were impeding people from leaving Ethiopia. Because of this, the refugee crossings have largely slowed down.  The people who have already crossed worry about their loved ones left behind.




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