Aid agencies have ceased operations in a northwest area of Ethiopia’s Tigray region, near the border with Eritrea, after an air strike there late Friday killed scores of civilians displaced by the conflict.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Sunday that aid groups have suspended their operations in northwest Tigray.
“Humanitarian partners suspended activities in the area due the ongoing threats of drone strikes,” said the statement to media.
Reuters news agency quoted aid workers saying an air strike late Friday on a camp near the Eritrean border killed 56 people and wounded 30 others.
The U.N. humanitarian office told the AFP news agency that the attack in the town of Dedebit had caused “scores of civilian causalities.”
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the party that has ruled Tigray for decades, condemned the attack.
In statement Saturday, the TPLF accused the Ethiopian government of targeting civilians.
It also accused Eritrean forces of attacking Tigrayan fighters in northwest Tigray on the same day the IDP camp was hit.
Ethiopia’s federal authorities did not immediately comment on the accusations or the U.N. announcement on the aid groups’ withdrawal.
But, since the outbreak of the war with Tigrayan rebels in November 2020, authorities have denied targeting civilians.
The U.N. has been warning of a worsening humanitarian situation in Tigray.
The U.N. humanitarian office said last week that humanitarian agencies operating in Tigray have only one-sixth the amount of fuel needed to distribute limited food aid.
It said they continue to face security, bureaucratic and operational challenges, with aid partners forced to reduce or suspend operations, leaving millions of people without access to lifesaving assistance.
Source: Voice of America