“There is no clear end in sight” to the conflict, said agency spokesperson James Elder, after returning from a visit the northern Ethiopian region.
He said more than a million people were displaced, noting that fighting was continuing, and security remained a major issue. UNICEF had been “concerned from the onset about the harm that this is going to cause children, and unfortunately such fears are being realized.”
The conflict is the result of months of escalating tensions between the Ethiopian Government and the dominant regional force, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which culminated in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordering a military offensive after rebels attacked a federal army base.
Within days, militias from the neighbouring Amhara region had joined the fray, reportedly followed by some troops from neighbouring Eritrea – a long-time rival of Tigray.
According to the Government, the region had been secured by the end of November, however TPLF resistance has continued, amid accusations of extrajudicial killings and rights abuses on all sides.
Mr. Elder underscored the impact on women and girls, characterizing it as a “protection crisis”.
He added: “What is really emerging now is a disturbing picture of severe and ongoing child violations, there is also unfortunately an education and nutrition emergency and I saw extensive destruction to systems on essential services that children rely on.”
Among the estimated one million displaced by the violence are children who have suffered terribly, the UNICEF official explained.
Read more: https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/04/1090152