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Ethiopia: Tigray Region Humanitarian Update - Situation Report No. 2 (11 November 2020)

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This report is produced by OCHA Ethiopia and covers the period from 7 November to 11 November 2020. The next report will be issued in due course.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Telephone lines remain cut making information flow and corroboration of media reports very difficult for the humanitarian community, as well as to monitor population movement and additional humanitarian needs.

  • With no relief access to Tigray, food, health and other emergency supplies have no way to make it into the region making prepositioning/re-stocking impossible.

  • There is increasing concern for the protection of civilians against hostilities. Civilians caught in the cross-fire always pay the price, especially children, women, elders and the disabled.

  • According to UNHCR Sudan, several thousand Ethiopian asylum seekers have crossed the Sudanese border through two border entry points in Gedaref State since 9 November.

  • The UN and its partner organizations are committed to staying and delivering humanitarian assistance. A costed humanitarian response plan for Tigray region is currently being finalized under the coordination of UNOCHA.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

With the fighting between Ethiopian federal forces (EDF) and Tigray regional security forces coming into its first week, reports of casualties are being heard through various media outlets. Telephone lines are still cut making information flow and corroboration of media reports very difficult for the humanitarian community, as well as to monitor population movement and additional humanitarian needs. Meanwhile, banks are reportedly closed, and transport is not allowed to and from Tigray as a result of which shortages of basic commodities are reportedly appearing, impacting the most vulnerable first and the most. International partners.

With reports of increasing casualties, concern is rising for the protection of civilians against hostilities. Civilians caught in the cross-fire always pay the price, especially children, women, elders and the disabled, and are of paramount importance to protect. Humanitarian partners ask federal and regional authorities to facilitate humanitarian access to reach people in need in areas under their respective control.

According to UNHCR Sudan, at least 3,400 Ethiopian asylum seekers have crossed the Sudanese border through two border entry points in Gedaref State since 9 November. Sudanese authorities are reportedly screening the asylum seekers for onward relocation to a reception center in Shagrab camp in Kassala State; 1,700 people have so far been screened and registered. No armed individual will be allowed to cross into Sudan, according to authorities. UNHCR is mobilizing resources to address the life-saving needs of the new arrivals, and identification of a new refugee site is amongst the priorities. UNHCR has a working scenario of up to 20,000 asylum seekers expected in one month, and up to 100,000 asylum seekers expected in one year.

Meanwhile, the Tigray Regional President has publicly appealed to the African Union Chairman, Cyril Ramaphosa, to mediate the conflict; however, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been unresponsive to all offers of mediation, including from the AU and IGAD, claiming that “this is an internal affair aimed at ensuring the rule of law.”

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.