Ethiopia crisis: Aid agencies call for immediate ceasefire in Tigray

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  • Tigray crisis

image copyrightReutersimage captionAid agencies are preparing for up to 200,000 people to arrive in Sudan from Ethiopia in the coming months

Aid agencies are calling for an immediate temporary ceasefire in Ethiopia to allow aid to reach civilians affected by the fighting.

The UN wants humanitarian corridors set up following two weeks of conflict between Ethiopia's military and forces loyal to the political leadership in the northern Tigray region.

Hundreds of people are reported to have been killed in the clashes.

At least 33,000 refugees have already crossed Ethiopia's border into Sudan.

The UN Refugee Agency has said it is preparing for up to 200,000 people to arrive over the next six months if the fighting continues.

Ethiopia has so far rejected calls for talks over the crisis, seeing its operations as an internal "act of law enforcement".

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The conflict is rooted in long-standing tension between powerful regional party the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and Ethiopia's central government.

When Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed postponed a national election due to coronavirus in June, tension escalated between the two groups. The TPLF sees the central government as illegitimate, arguing Mr Abiy no longer has a mandate to lead the country.

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