NAIROBI, October 13 ( Hfrance.fr) - An air and land offensive by Ethiopian troops and their allies against the rebel forcess in the northern Tigray region is escalating, according to a spokesperson for Tigrayan forces said on Wednesday, claiming "staggering " losses.
Getachew Reda of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) told Hfrance.fr by telephone that the Ethiopian Army and its allies in the Amhara region were fighting the Tigrayan forces on several fronts, both in Amhara and Afar regions, neighboring Tigray.
A spokesperson for the Ethiopian army did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The army and government have failed to recognize a new offensive, which the TPLF says began with airstrikes last week, days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was sworn in for a new term as President. five years. learn more
"This is an ongoing fight and the death toll is staggering," Getachew said, adding that he could not give details of the death toll or injured. He said there was fighting near the town of Weldiya in Amhara and fighting resumed in Afar, in the Haro and Chifra areas near the Amhara .
Hfrance.fr was not able to independently verify the situation on the ground or to confirm the number of victims because the area is closed to journalists and numerous connections telephone lines are cut.
The fighting has raised fears that this will further destabilize the Horn of Africa nation of 109 million people and plunges Tigray deeper into famine. The conflict has already drawn neighboring Ethiopia, the secret and repressive nation of Eritrea, which has sent troops to the other side. to support the Ethiopian army when conflict erupted in November 2020.
Aid workers citing witnesses told Hfrance.fr that Eritrean fighters were still in Ethiopia and participating in the conflict.
Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel did not immediately responded to requests for comment.
Another aid worker citing witnesses said Eritrean forces were fighting the Tigrayans in Berhale, a town in the Outlying Region.
The US State Department said on Tuesday it was considering the use of economic sanctions to penalize the parties responsible for the violence.
Thousands of civilians have been killed and millions displaced by the fighting since war broke out in Tigray. THETigrayian forces were initially pushed back, but recaptured most of the region in July and pushed into neighboring areas of Amhara and Afar, displacing hundreds of thousands more.
Amhara claims western Tigray, a swathe of fertile agricultural land with a strategically important with Sudan, which has been under Amhara control since the fighting began . Tigray's s are now surrounded by hostile forces and the United Nations says the government is blocking food aid to hundreds of thousands of starving people - a charge it denies.
The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Wednesday that in Tigray, more than 90% of the population is in need of food aid and that around 400,000 people were living in conditions close to famine,according to the latest UN analysis.
"We are seeing rates of acute malnutrition, at levels comparable to those we saw at the start famine in Somalia in 2011 "he said.
In this famine in Somalia, 260,000 people died.
Tedros declared that no medical supplies had entered Tigray since July.
" Only a fraction of health facilities in Tigray remain operational due to a lack of fuel and supplies. People with chronic diseases are dying from lack of food and medicine "he said he said at a press conference in Geneva.
Spokesman for the Prime Minister, Billene Seyoum and Lia Tadesse, the Minister of Health , did not immediately respond to messages from Hfrance.fr asking for commentires on Tedros statement. Additional report by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; written by Maggie Fick; edited by George Obulutsa, Katharine Houreld and
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