from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – THERE is growing concern over the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region becoming internationalised.
The concern comes after fighting along the Ethiopian-Eritrean border where rockets were fired from the Tigray region into Eritrea.
Refugees International (RI) said this underscored the fragility of the situation.
“The conflict is spilling across borders and has the potential to become a threat to international peace and security,” Hardin Lang, the Refugees International Vice President for Programs and Policy, said.
More than 20 000 Ethiopians have sought refuge in recent days in Sudan after fleeing the northernmost Tigray.
The number is expected to rise quickly.
RI is alarmed by credible reports that atrocities have been committed against the civilian population in the town of Mai-Kadra in south-west Tigray.
“The conflict in Tigray has all the hallmarks of a major humanitarian emergency in the making,” Lang warned.
RI called upon Ethiopia’s neighbours and the African Union (AU) to work with the parties to the conflict to reach a ceasefire.
“We strongly urge the (US President Donald) Trump administration to take a leadership role in support of diplomatic efforts to end the conflict before it spirals out of control,” Lang said.
Tigray, a region of more than 5 million people, entered into conflict with the Ethiopian federal government after controversial local elections this month.
The election was considered illegal by the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who postponed general elections earlier in the year because of the coronavirus.
– CAJ News