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BBC News: Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis

Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: ‘How the conflict made my uncle a refugee in Sudan’

Ethiopians who fled the ongoing fighting in Tigray region, use boats to cross the Setit river on the Sudan-Ethiopia border in Hamdayet village in eastern Kassala state, Sudan November 22, 2020
IMAGE COPYRIGHTREX FEATURES
image captionMany people fleeing the conflict in Ethiopia are crossing into Sudan by river

A BBC reporter writes about a relative forced to flee Ethiopia’s Tigray region following the outbreak of conflict between federal and regional troops.

A businessman and farm-owner, my uncle has become a refugee in Sudan, along with tens of thousands of others. He does not even have a pair of shoes, having lost them as he fled Tigray by foot and boat.

He was not expecting a conflict to break out. So, in the beginning of November, he undertook a half-day-long journey from his home near Adwa city in central Tigray to the agricultural hub of Humera in the west, leaving his wife and two children behind.

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BBC News: Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis

Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: What does it mean for the east Africa region?


Fighting between Ethiopia’s central government and its northern Tigray region is threating stability beyond its borders. If the conflict turns into a prolonged war it has the potential to destabilise the entire Horn of Africa region, with dire consequences for millions of people.

The BBC’s correspondents across the east Africa region explain the impact for Ethiopia and its neighbours.

BBC News: Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis

Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: PM claims capture of regional capital Mekelle

Map of Tigray region

How has the TPLF responded?

In a text message to Reuters, TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael did not directly comment on the situation on the ground, but said of the government forces: “Their brutality can only add [to] our resolve to fight these invaders to the last.”

He added: “This is about defending our right to self-determination.”

An earlier TPLF statement, reported by AFP, urged “the international community to condemn the artillery and warplane attacks and massacres being committed”.

It also accused the Eritrean government of involvement in the attack on Mekelle.

Analysts say the TPLF could now be preparing to return to the mountains to launch a guerrilla war against the federal government.

BBC News: Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis

Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: PM gives Tigray forces 72 hours to surrender

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An Ethiopian refugee who fled fighting in Tigray province carries her baby as she walks at the Um Rakuba camp in Sudan's eastern Gedaref provinceIMAGE COPYRIGHTAFP
image captionThe conflict is believed to have killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands more

Ethiopia’s prime minister has given forces in the northern region of Tigray 72 hours to surrender as government troops advance on the capital, Mekelle.

Abiy Ahmed told Tigrayan leaders they were “at a point of no return”.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which controls the mountainous region, has vowed to keep fighting.

The conflict has reportedly killed hundreds and displaced thousands in recent weeks. The UN has warned it could trigger a humanitarian crisis.

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