29,000 Displaced by Fighting Over Disputed Land in Ethiopia's Tigray and Amhara Regions

Renewed violence in Ethiopia's Tigray and Amhara regions displaces thousands, threatening fragile peace and highlighting the need for a comprehensive political solution to address the root causes of the conflict.

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Ebenezer Mensah
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29,000 Displaced by Fighting Over Disputed Land in Ethiopia's Tigray and Amhara Regions

29,000 Displaced by Fighting Over Disputed Land in Ethiopia's Tigray and Amhara Regions

Fighting over contested territory along the borders of Ethiopia's Tigray and Amhara regions has displaced close to 29,000 people, according to the United Nations. The fighting began last week between forces from the two regions in the Raya Alamata district, which is claimed by both. Amhara officials have accused Tigray forces of launching an invasion, but Tigray's former rebels deny this.

The contested district of Raya Alamata had been under Tigray's control until the war broke out in 2020, but Amhara troops have since seized it. Following the resurgence of the latest fighting, Tigray forces have reportedly advanced towards some areas in the district. The UN has stated that life-saving assistance is urgently required, as some families are sheltering in open areas in nearby Amhara districts.

Why this matters: The renewed violence threatens the fragile peace in northern Ethiopia and risks further destabilizing the region. It emphasizes the need for a comprehensive political solution to address the root factors of the conflict, including the status of disputed territories.

The embassies of seven Western countries, including the US and UK, have released a joint statement expressing concern over the reported violence and calling for de-escalation, disarmament, and demobilization. "We urge an 'inclusive dialogue' between all stakeholders to resolve the complex political and security issues," the statement said.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the uprooted individuals are currently taking shelter in open areas and have not received emergency aid. The Ethiopian Disaster Risk Management Commission has dispatched a team to follow up on the developments. The conflict has claimed at least three lives and injured several others.

Despite a peace agreement reached in late 2022, several critical issues remain unresolved, including the status of contested territories and the demilitarization of former fighters. The international community continues to monitor the situation closely, calling for immediate and effective actions to stabilize the region and prevent further humanitarian crises.

Key Takeaways

  • Renewed violence between Tigray and Amhara forces in Ethiopia displaces 29,000 people.
  • Contested Raya Alamata district is claimed by both regions, leading to clashes.
  • Urgent need for humanitarian aid as displaced families shelter in open areas.
  • Peace agreement unresolved issues, including status of disputed territories and demilitarization.
  • International community calls for inclusive dialogue to resolve the complex conflict.