Ethiopia + 2 more

UNHCR Regional Update #24: Ethiopia Emergency Situation, 2 November 2021

Situation Report
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Key Developments


The situation in northern Ethiopia continues to deteriorate as hostilities escalate. On 2 November, the Ethiopian government declared a six-month national state of emergency throughout the country with immediate effect.
This follows reports that on 30 and 31 October, Tigray and Oromo forces took control of two major towns along the highway to Addis Ababa. The UN Secretary General has released a statement saying that “the stability of Ethiopia and the wider region is at stake” and has called “for an inclusive national dialogue to resolve this crisis and create the foundation for peace and stability throughout the country.”

The lack of access into the Tigray region – for personnel, supplies, fuel, cash, and telecommunications equipment – continues to significantly compromise the humanitarian response. Agencies have scaled down operations predominantly due to lack of fuel and other humanitarian supplies. Communication remains shut down across the region and electricity remains sporadic except for Mekelle where it is mostly stable.


A military takeover took place on 25 October, with the military overthrowing the civilian transitional government and detaining the Prime Minister and other civilian leaders. Street protests against the military takeover continued throughout the week, with over 10 people reported to have been killed and scores of others injured.
The security situation remained relatively calm and stable in Gedaref following a series of demonstrations on 25 and 30 October in response to the military coup. Despite military presence in some parts of the town, humanitarian actors are able to cross checkpoints along major roads.

UNHCR and partner NGOs can move to Um Rakuba camp and Tunaydbah settlement despite several checkpoints along the way. Various NGOs have teams based in the camps, International Rescue Committee, others a mix of locally based staff and international staff commuting from Gedaref. All partners have refugee workers who continue to ensure presence in field locations.