The Ethiopian war zone in Tigray is facing a deadly crisis as a result of starvation, health services have been disrupted and raped “everywhere,” according to a World Health Organization official from the region.
“What is happening in Tigray, Ethiopia, is that, if I can use one word, it is dangerous. It is very dangerous,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference Monday.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops to Tigray in November after criticizing the ruling party, which is already fighting a war zone.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy announced victory at the end of the same month as troops marched on the Mekelle regional capital.
But fighting continues and a six-month standoff has led to killings and rapes by Ethiopian troops and troops from neighboring Eritrea.
Tedros said about five million people in the area are in need of humanitarian assistance, especially food.
“More and more people are dying, in particular, from starvation, and severe malnutrition,” he said.
In addition, hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes, including more than 60,000 who have fled to Sudan.
At the same time, health services have been seized and destroyed, he said, adding that “most of them are not working.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) also condemned the killing of people without discrimination and the use of sexual violence in any form.
“Rape is rampant. I don’t think there was anywhere else in the world, ” he said.
When asked about what is happening to COVID-19 in his area, Tedros said there are no supportive measures to eradicate the disease, but he said it is not a necessary thing other than some complications.
“Basically, we’re not ready to talk about COVID, to be honest, because there are so many risks.”
One of the problems they need to deal with is finding opportunities to find support and support.
Global leaders and humanitarian organizations have repeatedly spoken out in favor of helping people in troubled areas as fears mounted.
On Friday, the European Union (EU) has condemned the ongoing crackdown on aid in the region, and has called for “the use of humanitarian aid as a weapon”.
WHO Director-General Michael Ryan warned Monday that “reaching out to people affected by Tigray would not be unexpected”.
This, he said, was creating a “huge barrier to reaching people who need our help”.
The dangers of epidemics
With many hospitals being destroyed, the UN health agency was concerned about the growing number of cholera, measles and other epidemics, he said.
“We also have issues to continue receiving the cholera vaccine internally,” he said, emphasizing the need to “put the vaccine in it” and to plan vaccine activities “to prevent the risk of cholera”.
Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday lost concern over the availability of aid.
“It was really difficult to find other baggage sites for security reasons but this has been fixed,” the minister said.
“That is why it is absurd for some of their peers to continue to complain about the lack of access to everything in the world.”
The statement also said the government was committed to investigating human rights abuses and condemned “unjust and unsubstantiated cases against Ethiopia”, not to mention Tedros.