Ethiopia Tigray Crisis: New Front Opens As Aid Fears Grow


A bloody eight-month battle for control of the north Ethiopian state of Tigray has spilled over into the neighbouring region of Afar in the past week.

At least 20 civilians have been killed and 54,000 people have been displaced, reports say, as fears grow of a fast-developing humanitarian crisis.

Several people in Afar said the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) had killed civilians.

This accusation has not been independently verified.

The BBC has also heard reports of numerous airstrikes targeting TPLF positions in Afar over the past few days.

The TPLF are fighting the Ethiopian army and its allies in Afar, which borders Tigray. A spokesperson for Afar has said the Tigrayan fighters captured three districts in the region this week.

Activists in Afar say there is a desperate need for food, water and emergency shelter.

The TPLF were the regional government of Tigray until they were ousted by federal forces last November. The TPLF has been designated a terrorist organisation by the Ethiopian government but the rebels say they are the legitimate regional government of Tigray.

The TPLF last month recaptured much of Tigray in a spectacular offensive against the national army.

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