The first witness account is Ethiopians fleeing the conflict

The first witness account is Ethiopians fleeing the conflict

Nairobi, Kenya (AP) – Heavy gunfire erupted in the Ethiopian border town and a police officer, Philemon, immediately started running.

Now, shaken and frightened, he paused when asked questions about his wife and two young children, and and ages, “I don’t know where my family is now,” he said, making sure they were left behind in the fight. No. Somewhere in the growing crowd of thousands of new refugees on the Sudanese border.

In a phone interview with the Associated Press on Thursday, the experts gave the first testimony to the experts’ warning that there is a civil war erupting with disastrous humanitarian consequences. This conflict could also drag on neighboring countries.

Filimon, who gave only his first name, said the attackers on the Tigre regional town of Humera last week were coming from nearby Eritrea, although it was impossible to know if the attackers were Eritrean troops.

But his account backed up allegations made by Tigre’s regional leaders who accused Eritrea of ​​engaging in a week-long conflict in the region at the request of Ethiopia’s federal government, which the Tigre government considers illegal.

However, Philemon’s concerns are far more urgent. After a day’s journey with about a dozen others fleeing, he has spent two days in Sudan, a border town exposed to the sun and wind that is rapidly filling up. As many as 10,000 refugees have fled In Sudan, where local officials are preparing up to 200,000.

The federal government on Thursday said tensions over the deadly conflict in Ethiopia are spreading well beyond its cut-north northern Tigris region, as the federal government on Thursday said it was trying to “intimidate and terrorize” about 1 suspected “activist” across the country. Has been charged.

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The statement said suspects are “morally diverse”, but amid reports of being alone by authorities, there remains more concern among ethnic Tigris.

Ethiopia’s parliament voted to remove the immunity from action by 39 President Tigre region officials, including its president, who was accused of mutiny and “attacking the federal army.”

Meanwhile, rallies were held in several cities in support of the federal government’s military action against the Tigre regional government, the Tigre People’s Liberation Front.

Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abi Ahmed has rejected international calls for negotiations and de-escalation, saying he could not come until the TPLF’s verdict “click” was removed and he was arrested. Its full arsenal is not destroyed.

In a new statement, Abi insisted that the western part of the Tigris region had been liberated, and accused the TPLF rulers of “trying to destroy Ethiopia.” He accused the TPLF forces of misconduct.

The slide that suddenly appeared towards the Civil War took months to build. After Abi took office in 2018, he announced major political reforms that won him the Nobel but marginalized the TPLF, which dominated Ethiopia’s ruling coalition. The TPLFA later left the coalition and held local elections in September, defaming the federal government.

Now each side considers each other illegal and blames each other for starting the fight.

Communications and transport links in the Tigris region are crumbling, making claims difficult to verify, while the United Nations and others warn of a humanitarian disaster as food and fuel are short-lived for millions.

There is no indication of a lull in the many airstrikes carried out by federal forces and the fighting in which hundreds of deaths have been reported on each side. It is not clear how many civilians were among the dead.

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The effects of conflict risk in Ethiopia’s neighbors, especially Sudan, whose leaders are under pressure from the international community, the Ethiopian federal government and now the Eritrean government, have accused the TPLF of joining the fight at Ethiopia’s request.

Experts fear that Horn Africa, one of the world’s most strategic areas, could be destabilized despite Abia’s peaceful past efforts.

A State Department spokesman said in an email that the top US diplomat in Africa, Tibor R. Nagy, had spoken to Ethiopia’s foreign minister on Wednesday, urging “urgent action to restore peace and take action to break the tension.” Said. “The protection and safety of American citizens and all citizens is our priority.”

Sajjad Mohammed Sajid, the UN’s humanitarian chief in Ethiopia, told the AP that more than 1,000 civilians from various countries were stranded in the Tigris region.

Inside the Tigre region, long lines have appeared outside bread shops, and supply trucks are stranded at its borders. Fuel is already being rationed.

“Every global agency, the UN, is asking for a ceasefire but we have not reached an agreement, we have not seen any readiness to negotiate,” UN refugee agency spokesman Kisut Gabrigziaber told the AP late Wednesday night.

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