Sudan-Ethiopia tensions rise amid diplomatic wrangling and famine

After Sudanese efforts to help broker a ceasefire in Tigray were rejected by Ethiopia, Khartoum has recalled its ambassador to Addis Ababa.

With Sudan currently chairing the regional body Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said he was trying to “encourage all Ethiopian sides to reach a ceasefire agreement, and engage in comprehensive political talks”, in a statement released on Sunday.

Fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region began last November when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops in to defeat the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Part of the issue stems from Fashaga, the contested border region that is used by Ethiopian farmers, but claimed by Sudan.

Refugees find more bodies in river separating Tigray, Sudan

Six more bodies have been found floating down the river separating Ethiopia’s troubled Tigray region from Sudan, refugees and a physician said on Saturday. They urged Sudanese authorities and the U.N. to help in search efforts.

Around 50 bodies have been discovered over the last two weeks in the Setit River, which flows through some of the most troubled areas of the nine-month conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, according to Tigray refugees.

AFP: UN condemns ‘dangerous’ claims of bias against aid workers in Tigray

The UN’s humanitarian chief on Tuesday condemned as “dangerous” accusations by Ethiopian government officials that aid workers were biased in favour of — and even arming — rebel forces in war-hit Tigray.

Martin Griffiths also called for access to allow desperately needed aid into the region where the UN says hundreds of thousands of people are suffering from famine.

“Blanket accusations of humanitarian aid workers need to stop,” he said during a press conference at the end of a six-day visit to Ethiopia, his first mission in his new role.

AP: Aid worker killed in Tigray as humanitarians are targeted

An Ethiopian national working for an Italian charity was killed in the war-hit Tigray region on Saturday after he was “hit by a stray bullet”, according to his employer.

Negasi Kidane, from the Tigrayan city of Adigrat, had been employed by the International Committee for the Development of Peoples since 2016. The group is known by its Italian initials, CISP.

He is the ninth aid worker reported killed in Tigray since fighting broke out there nearly seven months ago.

Which way for Ethiopia? Abiy cracks down on regional revolts ahead of elections

Can the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia keep it together? Change has become increasingly bloody it seems since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi, a Tigrean whose home region is now in open revolt against the central government. There, conventional fighting is morphing into guerrilla warfare with reprisals against civilians fuelling a vicious circle. Elsewhere, regional and ethnic tensions are also on the rise.

‘No more sacred places’: Heritage sites under siege in Tigray conflict

“Not only us, but Muslims all over the world are shocked that this happened,”

“The FCDO must doIn the town of Dengolat, hundreds of residents hid in a centuries-old Orthodox church as Eritrean soldiers allegedly gunned down more than 160 civilians in late November.

At around the same time, Eritrean soldiers massacred hundreds of civilians in the ancient Tigray city of Axum, a UNESCO World Heritage site, including Orthodox Christians gathering for a major festival, according to Human Rights Watch.

‘Clean out our insides’: Ethiopia detains Tigrayans amid war

 Ethiopia has swept up thousands of ethnic Tigrayans into detention centers across the country on accusations that they are traitors, often holding them for months and without charges, the AP has found.

Dozens of Tigrayan priests and deacons were detained in the capital, most for a month, according to Lisanewerk Desta, who leads the library and museum department of the Ethiopia Orthodox Church. He also said he has spoken with a detainee at a center near Harar who estimated that more than 2,000 military personnel were held there.

Yahoo: ‘I don’t feel safe’: Survivors allege rape by soldiers in Tigray

Once a day, she says, Ethiopian soldiers would line up outside her cell in a military camp, sometimes as many as 10 men waiting their turn to rape her.

According to Tirhas, the group assaults lasted for two weeks — from the afternoon soldiers picked her up off a street in Mekele, the capital of Ethiopia’s conflict-hit Tigray region, until the day they drove her home.

Yahoo: Eritrean troops killed hundreds in Ethiopia massacre

Eritrean forces shot dead hundreds of children and civilians in a November massacre in neighbouring Ethiopia’s war-hit Tigray region, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Friday.

It was the second major report on Eritrean abuses in the town of Axum, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in the past week.

AFP: A bid ‘to exterminate us’: Tigrayans recount massacre by Eritrean troops

The soldiers had tied their hands with belts and ropes and shot them in the head.

“I’d rather die than have lived to see this,” Beyenesh told AFP, tears rolling down her face as she described how the annual festival of Saint Mary turned into a bloodbath.

Local church officials say 164 civilians were killed in Dengolat, with most of the deaths occurring on November 30, one day after the festival.

That makes it one of the worst known atrocities in the ongoing conflict in Tigray.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has tightly restricted humanitarian and media access to the region, and for nearly three months Dengolat residents despaired of sharing their story with the world.