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Aid groups halt work in Ethiopia’s Tigray after air strike

Aid organisations have suspended their operations in an area of northwest Tigray in Ethiopia where 56 civilians were reportedly killed by an air strike over the weekend, the UN agency for humanitarian affairs (UNOCHA) has.

“Humanitarian partners suspended activities in the area due the ongoing threats of drone strikes,” the agency told Reuters news agency on Sunday, without giving further details.

Much of Tigray remains cut off from the world, with limited communications for humanitarian workers who have found their work severely constrained by a months-long government blockade.

Reports of the air strike at the camp in Dedebit in northwestern Tigray came a day after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed issued a message of reconciliation for Orthodox Christmas after 14 months of war.

Ethiopia’s conflict shifted in late December, when the Tigray rebels fighting Ethiopia’s government withdrew back into the Tigray region after approaching the capital, Addis Ababa.

A drone-supported military offensive pushed them back.

Amnesty for political detainees

Ethiopia’s government on Friday announced an amnesty for some of the country’s most high-profile political detainees, including senior Tigray party officials.

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Justice said the amnesty was granted “to make the upcoming national dialogue successful and inclusive.”

Ethiopian lawmakers last month approved a bill to establish a commission for national dialogue.

I’’s estimated that tens of thousands of people have been killed in the war that erupted in November 2020 between Ethiopian forces and the Tigray rebels.

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