Ethiopia health sector attacked during civil war


Tigray, Ethiopia youth militia

from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ethiopia Bureau
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – THE Ethiopian health sector has borne the brunt of conflict that escalated over the past year between regional forces and the national army.

Conflict continued in 2023 between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Ethiopian central government forces despite a cessation of hostilities agreement between the two in November 2022. There was an escalation of conflict in neighbouring Amhara and Oromia regions.

The Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition identified 14 incidents of violence against or obstruction of health care in Ethiopia in 2023.

It believes the actual number of incidents and the severity of the problem are likely much greater, because of probable under-reporting.

On at least one occasion in Oromia in November, the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) carried out two drone strikes in Delanta Woreda district.

One strike hit an ambulance, killing the driver and pharmacist. It wounded the head administrator of a hospital.

Confirmation of the second attack was delayed for nearly a week due to communications restrictions imposed by local authorities.

Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition reports that ENDF regularly deployed armed drones against opposition forces, killing hundreds of civilians and destroying vital infrastructure, including hospitals.

“These incidents form part of a broader global pattern in which health care suffered terribly in 2023 due to the use of explosive weapons,” said Christina Wille, director of Insecurity Insight, a lead author of the report, whose organization led data collection and analysis.

She said tragically, reporting barriers made it likely that the situation in Ethiopia was worse than they were aware of.

“This only increases the need for urgent action to protect health workers and facilities and bring these horrific attacks to an end,” Wille said.

– CAJ News

scroll to top