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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Ethiopia - Nigeria - Sudan

30 Nov 2020

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Ethiopian refugees fleeing clashes in the country's northern Tigray region wait for assistance at a transit centre near Hamdayet border crossing in Sudan. Credit: UNHCR/Ariane Maxiandeau

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 30 November 2020

Ethiopia

The UN and its humanitarian partners are deeply concerned about the plight of civilians in the Tigray region, especially in its capital, Mekelle, following the latest developments reported in the city.

Even before the recent fighting began, civilians in Mekelle, which is home to nearly half a million people, had endured weeks of fuel, cash and basic commodities shortages. Civilian infrastructure had also been damaged.

There are also reports of critical shortages of medical supplies in Mekelle and across the Tigray region needed to treat people injured during the clashes.

Humanitarians report that affected people have been forced to rely on untreated water to survive following the damage and destruction of water infrastructure.

It is critical that essential supplies and services are restored immediately in Mekelle and across the Tigray region, and the UN and partners are working with all parties to this end.

The UN and humanitarian partners also acknowledge the Federal Government’s stated commitment to ensure that humanitarian assistance is made available to impacted people, and calls for unconditional, full and immediate humanitarian access to reach people in need in Mekelle and across the Tigray Region.

Sudan

The conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region continues to displace people within the country and towards Sudan.

In Sudan, humanitarians are reporting complex logistical and operational response challenges. Nearly 45,500 people are now seeking refuge in the country, most of them children.

Humanitarians are scaling up the response and the first UNHCR airlift with emergency assistance arrived in Khartoum over the weekend.

UNHCR and partners have warned about the urgent need for additional refugee settlement sites, as the Um Rakuba camp in Gedaref State has reached its current maximum capacity of 10,000 people.

Nigeria

A statement by the UN Secretary-General was issued yesterday condemning in the strongest terms the horrific attack by suspected militants on rice farm workers in Koshobe village, near the Borno State capital of Maiduguri on Saturday, 28 November. Scores of people were reportedly killed, and many others injured or abducted, including women.

The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and to the people of Nigeria, wishes a swift recovery to the injured, and calls for the immediate and safe return of the abductees and those still reported missing. He hopes those responsible for these heinous crimes will be quickly brought to justice.

Nigeria’s Humanitarian Coordinator, Edward Kallon, also issued a statement on the attacks yesterday, noting that several women may have been kidnapped, according to reports. He called for their immediate release and return to safety.

Saturday’s incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year.

Rural communities in Borno State are facing untold hardships and they and all other civilians need to be protected and spared from any kind of violence, said Mr. Kallon.