Tens of thousands of Ethiopians allegedly displaced on ethnic grounds

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Ethiopia Map

The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has said tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Ethiopia’s Tigray regional state on allegedly ethnic grounds.

“In Western Tigray, partners report that tens of thousands of people have been displaced from the area allegedly on ethnic grounds,” the UNOCHA report stated on Sunday.”Since November 2020, the Western Tigray zone has been under de-facto control of neighboring Amhara regional authorities, during which there have been reports of ethnically motivated violence and forced displacement,” the UNOCHA report further stated.

The UNOCHA report also disclosed since February, there has been renewed ethnic targeted violence in Western Tigray zone. “Since February, thousands of residents in Western Tigray have fled the Zone amid reports of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, and disappearances of people, particularly young men,” the UNOCHA report disclosed.

“In the last one week alone, more than 45,000 people have been registered in Shire city in central Tigray, with an influx of about 1,500 people every day,” the UNOCHA report further disclosed.

The newly displaced who arrive in dire conditions, have reported that some people remain stranded on the way due to lack of transportation to Shire city and have very limited humanitarian assistance, according to UNOCHA. On Saturday, the Ethiopian government rejected U.S. allegations of ethnic cleansing in the Tigray regional state as “completely unfounded.”

“(The accusation) is a completely unfounded and spurious verdict against the Ethiopian government,” the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, referring to allegations made by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday in a congressional hearing.

Months of fighting between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which used to rule the Tigray regional state, and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces have reportedly left thousands of people dead, hundreds of thousands of others displaced.According to Ethiopian government figures, the conflict has displaced around 2.2 million people, while 4.5 million people are in need of emergency aid.

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