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“People are starving.” New emigration to the Tigris region of Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (AP) – Thousands of thin, hungry, fugitives from the threat of violence hiding in rural areas of the Ethiopian Tigris region have begun arriving in a community that barely supports them, saying there is more. the way

For months, something unknown in the Tigris conflict has been the fate of hundreds of thousands of people in vast rural areas beyond the reach of foreign aid. The region has been largely cut off from the world since November, and fears of violence and famine have grown.

Now those people are starting to arrive, many on foot, in the Shire community, say the medics who have been there. The Associated Press has received permission to use rare photographs, mainly from the International Rescue Committee, about the plight of these displaced people. It was difficult to find photos from the region. Electricity was cut off for most of the conflict, and ethnic Tigrayans told the AP that taking photos was life-threatening.

About 5,000 people arrived last Wednesday through Sunday, Humanitarian teams are being sent to find those who say they are on their way. “Doctors Without Borders” – Dutch CEO Oliver Benn told the AP.

“They come in very bad conditions, very exhausted, dehydrated, thin,” Ben said after the visit. “It quickly becomes a hopeless situation.”

People who eat Arri have an idea of ​​the deprivations that gnaw at the village of Tigray. Aid workers say some describe surviving by eating masters or the seeds they planted to plant as a sign of even worse hunger.

It is unclear what specific threats these thousands of people threatened to flee the western Tigray, where US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Wednesday that they had seen “ethnic cleansing operations”. Some people from Ethiopia’s neighboring Amhara region are accused of occupying communities. Speaking to aid workers, the ethnic Tigrayans described hiding in the hills weeks after clashes erupted between Ethiopia և allied forces և Tigray regional leaders և who once dominated the government but ousted Prime Minister Abi. Under Ahmed.

Shire is a humanitarian action base that workers say is not enough to meet growing needs. Some 16,000 IDPs are already occupying the three overcrowded school camps, including unfinished buildings and unfinished buildings with empty elevator shafts. Some people sleep in 40 or 50 rooms with few but rugs and clothes.

There is no place for thousands of newcomers in these camps. Hundreds of people are now sleeping outside.

The entire community of Tigray is in poor condition to support even its own residents. The conflict erupted on the verge of harvest և months after a locust outbreak. Banks were closed and shops looted. Even now, as the Ethiopian government claims to have reached more than 4 million people with food aid, that is not enough.

“People are starving to death,” Madiha Raza told the Associated Press after a recent visit to Shair. “There is a serious problem with access to food. One of the respondents told me that he survived for a month just on the masters while he was hiding in the woods. “There was some food distributed in the IDP centers, but almost not enough.”

The United States estimates that 4 million people, or two-thirds of the population of Tigray, are in dire need of food assistance. Even as access to the region is slowly improving, concerns are growing.

“What we know is very disturbing, but what we do not know can be worse,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Director of Emergency Programs.

Newcomers from rural areas are constantly reminded of how gloomy life can be for those still hiding from the conflict.

“Our teams have seen people arriving in major cities (IDPs) in extremely poor condition,” Dominique Stilhart, director of the International Committee of the Red Cross, told reporters late last month.

Some Tigray communities are inaccessible. It is only in recent weeks that Médecins Sans Frontières staff have begun arriving in places that are inaccessible.

Health centers have been looted, there are few medical staff left, says Ben, which means people have had little or no maternity care, other emergencies or even basic care.

“It is clear that these communities are in dire need,” he said. “After four months, the coping mechanisms are really on the fringes.”

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