FIGHTING in Ethiopia’s rebellious Tigray region is ‘spiralling out of control with appalling impact on civilians’, the UN’s human rights boss has warned.

Michelle Bachelet called the situation ‘exceedingly worrying and volatile’ with fighting reported in areas surrounding the Tigray capital, Mekele, ‘in spite of government claims to the contrary’.

Calling for outside monitors, she said: ‘We have corroborated information of gross human rights violations and abuses including indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian objects, looting, abductions and sexual violence against women and girls.’

Prime minister Abiy Ahmed announced action against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on November 4 and thousands were now feared dead.

Ethiopia has rejecting calls for independent investigations, saying it ‘doesn’t need a baby-sitter’.