Threat of further escalation in Mekelle, Ethiopia, puts children’s lives at risk

Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore

25 November 2020
An Ethiopian refugee child who fled fighting in Tigray province, sleeps in a hut at the Um Raquba camp in Sudan's eastern Gedaref province, on 16 November 16 2020
UNICEF/UN0371489/Hamid/AFP
An Ethiopian refugee child who fled fighting in Tigray province, sleeps in a hut at the Um Raquba camp in Sudan's eastern Gedaref province, on 16 November 16 2020.

NEW YORK, 25 November 2020 - “UNICEF urges parties to the conflict in Ethiopia to spare children from the impact of hostilities in the Tigray region, now in their third week.

“Some 500,000 people live in Mekelle, half of them are children. UNICEF is deeply alarmed that the two parties’ threat of a further escalation in the fighting would put their lives and well-being at immediate risk.

“We call upon parties to the conflict to cease the fighting and reach a peaceful settlement. Humanitarian agencies should be allowed urgent, unimpeded and sustained access to all affected areas.

“We are also concerned about the safety of hundreds of humanitarian workers who are still in Mekelle and elsewhere across Tigray. We call upon all parties to the conflict to take all necessary measures to ensure their protection.”

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Multimedia content

A young girl recovers from her wounds at her house, in Humera, Ethiopia, on 22 November 2020.
A young girl recovers from her wounds at her house, in Humera, Ethiopia, on 22 November 2020.

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