The UN Secretary-General said on Monday it was “essential to quickly restore the rule of law” in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray, where Government forces and those loyal to the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have been engaged in fighting for more than a month, UN News reported.
A Government offensive began after TPLF forces reportedly attacked a federal military base on 4 November. With communications and transportation links cut, Government forces have reportedly taken control of the regional capital Mekelle, although the TPLF claims that it is now mounting an insurgency, according to news reports.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed described TPLF leaders as a “criminal clique” on Monday, denying that their local forces were capable of a protracted insurgency,
In a statement released by his Spokesperson, the UN chief António Guterres said it was essential for the rule of law to be restored, “in full respect for human rights, (to) promote social cohesion, an inclusive reconciliation, as well as to re-establish the delivery of public services and guarantee unfettered humanitarian access.”
Last Friday, UN aid coordinators with the humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, said they were “working at full speed” to secure full aid access to Tigray, after a deal was struck to help tens of thousands of civilians displaced by the weeks of fighting between federal and regional forces.
More than 47,000 Ethiopian refugees have fled across the border into Sudan, and around 96,000 Eritrean refugees being hosted in camps in Tigray, were reported by the World Food Programme (WFP) to have essentially run out of food.