Following the escalation of the conflict between the Ethiopian federal government and Tigray in the north of the country, whose authorities fired rocket missiles at two airports in the neighbouring Amhara region late Friday and at least three more at Eritrea’s capital city Asmara, on Saturday, in what it deems as self-defence in light of a federal military operation launched on its territory in the north of the country.
Patrick Youssef, the ICRC Africa Regional Director, outlined the current situation, “Another hospital that was also visited by our team in Gondar reported that hundreds are being treated. Hundreds of civilians. People that are injured by the fighting but they also found 14 cases of COVID-19 which again adds layers and layers of complexity to an already existing calamity.”
Wednesday also saw a meeting in Cairo between Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Eritrean counterpart Osman Saleh Mohammed as the mounting conflict continues to threaten the horn of Africa.
Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced a military offensive on November 4 against the regional government in Tigray in response to an attack by Tigrayan forces on federal troops.
Tigray is still under a national state of emergency, hundreds of people on both sides have lost their lives and at least 25,000 Ethiopians have fled to neighbouring Eastern Sudan.
Many authorities in the international community who caution against inter-ethnic genocide fear a possible all-out civil war — compounded by the already chaélengiong Covid-19 pandemic.