The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Thursday expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia's Tigray region where armed conflict and sexual violence have been prevalent since November.
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"UNSC members recognize the efforts of the Government of Ethiopia to send humanitarian aid and improve access to this assistance," the Council admitted but it also warned that humanitarian challenges remain in the region.
They also demanded that people in need have unrestricted access to assistance and recalled that insecurity in Tigray impedes humanitarian operations. The UNSC expressed concern about human rights violations and demanded that those responsible be found and brought to justice.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OCHA) and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission have already launched investigations into these events.
On April 14, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten warned that gender violence in Tigray had reached "levels of cruelty beyond comprehension." So far, the UN has documented over 100 cases of rape. However, the true extent of the abuses will take months to be fully known.
On Nov. 4, the civil war escalated after the Ethiopian government attacked forces of the People’s Front for the Liberation of Tigray (PNLF) in retaliation for an earlier attack on a federal military base.
Since then, tens of thousands of Ethiopians have fled to Sudan, a country bordering the Tigray region.