Shortages have become ‘’very critical’’ in Ethiopia’s embattled northern region of Tigray, the United Nations says. The region of 6 million people is still sealed off as it faces threats by Ethiopian federal forces.
Martin Plaut is a writer and an expert on Ethiopia. He says what is ‘’ much more likely is that the Tigrayans will head for the hills in the mountains, it’s an extremely rough terrain.’’
‘’If he has a quick victory then perhaps he will be able to establish control. Much more likely is that the Tigrayans will head for the hills in the mountains, it’s an extremely rough terrain. And they know it very well, they spent 20 years fighting the previous government, which they overthrew in 1991.
In the same time they don’t control the skies. The skies are held by the jets of the Ethiopian Air force and also, the Tigrayans are said to be under attack from the United Arab Emirates who have drones based in neighboring Eritrea, and they are said to be using these drones against key targets’’, he said.
Plaut noted that the trappings of Tigrayans in the fight is compounding an already dire situation.
‘’It was reported seeing Ethiopian federal troops now preventing people from crossing the river into Sudan. Which is why the numbers have dropped substantially from about 6.000 a day to about 700 a day.
So people are being trapped in the fighting, and that is making their situation even worse. Once they get across the river of course they can get substantial aid and assistance. And the international community is moving heaven and earth to make that happen’’, Plaut added.
More than a million people are now displaced. Fuel and cash are running out. The Tigrayan capital, Mekele cannot be accessed by the UN World Food Program over travel blockages.
Communications links remain severed with the Tigray region since the deadly conflict broke out on November 4. Human Rights Watch is warning that “actions that deliberately impede relief supplies” violate international humanitarian law.