Ethiopia – Ethnic Violence and Forced Displacement in Amhara Region (DG ECHO, Partner Organisations) (ECHO Daily Flash of 25 February 2019)

Clashes over the last two weeks in North Gondar have raised the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Amhara region to an estimated 90 000. Of these, 40 000 are related to the conflict between ethnic Kemants and Amharas in North Gondar zone. Dozens of deaths and extended burning of houses and villages have been reported. Tensions had been growing since mid-2018 related to claims for self-administration by ethnic Kemants. Violence and displacement have been occurring particularly since November 2018. Over a thousand ethnic Kemants have crossed the border into Sudan and several hundred have requested asylum. On 15 February 2019, Amhara region announced that the humanitarian crisis was beyond its response capacity, requesting support from the humanitarian community. Regional authorities drafted a response plan requesting USD 18 million to support 18 000 households. A state of emergency was established for West & Central Gondar as well as Gondar city. Ethiopian National Defence Forces took over control of West and Central Gondar at the request of Amhara region, introducing a ban on weapons on the main roads. Recent rapid humanitarian assessments have highlighted the criticality of the IDPs' situation and the urgent needs they face in terms of basic assistance including food, shelters and emergency non-food items.