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Floods Displace 214,000 In Somalia

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At least 214,000 people have been temporarily displaced from their homes across Somalia since October due to flooding caused by heavy rains, the UN agency said on Monday.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest Floods Update that displacements have occurred in the South West, Jubaland, Hirshabelle and Galmudug states as well as the Banadir region.

“The lower areas along the Shabelle River have remained inundated since July following heavy Hagaa (July-September) rains within the Shabelle basin in Somalia and the Ethiopian highlands,” said OCHA.

It said most displacement occurred in the two worst-affected regions in the Shabelle River basin, Lower Shabelle (South West State) and Middle Shabelle (Hirshabelle State).

In Baidoa town, South West State, the UN agency said more than 66,000 people including IDPs have been affected, of whom 6,000 have been displaced.

On Oct. 28, OCHA said some 35 people have died while nearly 1.6 million others have been affected by flooding between January and September.

The UN relief agency said thousands of hectares of farmland have been inundated particularly along the river basins, increasing the risk of water-borne diseases.

The Somali authorities and aid agencies are appealing for urgent assistance especially clean drinking water, emergency shelter and food.

According to OCHA, assistance is also required to drain stagnant water in order to mitigate the risk of water-borne diseases and to re-enforce sand barriers along river breakage points.

The 2020 Dry rainy season has started with moderate to significantly heavy rains reported in Puntland and central regions of Hiraan, Bakool, Galgaduud, Mudug, Nugaal and southern areas of Sool region.

It said vulnerable communities due to persistent climatic shocks, locust infestation and the COVID-19 pandemic, are already facing severe food and water scarcity and are at risk of deadly communicable diseases such as cholera outbreak and acute watery diarrhea.

East Africa News

Civilians Won’t Be Harmed In Ethiopia’s Offensive On Tigray – PM

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Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has promised that civilians, worship centres and heritage sites will not be harmed, when the country launches its offensive against Tigrayan forces.

Mister Ahmed, in tweets on Thursday, said that the window given to the TPLF forces to stand back has elapsed.

On Monday, he had given the TPLF a 72-hour ultimatum to surrender or risk being hit.

The Prime Minister, who won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, said the failure of the rebellious TPLF forces to surrender will see Ethiopian forces going ahead with the final phase of their offensive.

The United Nations has warned Ahmed against harming civilians in the conflict.

“The 72-hour period granted to the criminal TPLF clique to surrender peacefully is now over and our law enforcement campaign has reached its final stage,” he tweeted. He also said thousands of TPLF fighters have surrendered, a claim the group denied.

“The last peaceful gate which remained open for the TPLF clique to walkthrough has now been firmly closed,” Abiy said.

“Our National Defence Forces have carefully devised a strategy to bring the TPLF criminal clique to justice without harming innocent civilians, heritage sites, places of worship, development institutions and property,” he added.

African envoys were in Ethiopia on Wednesday to sue for peace between the warring parties.

Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country and a key economy in the Horn of Africa has been facing conflicts between the country and the TPLF forces.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is the group comprising of those in Tigray, a region in northern Ethiopia with about 5million people.

TPLF ruled Ethiopia for 27 years before Ahmed came into power. The current Prime Minister has been accused of ethnic bias in his leadership.

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East Africa News

Ethiopian Military to Begin Final Assault in Tigray – PM Abiy Ahmed

The statement was released via his Twitter page where he said that the 72-hour period granted to the criminal Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) clique to surrender peacefully was over and that the law enforcement campaign had reached its final stage.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has announced that the military will begin the ‘final phase’ of an offensive in the rebellious northern Tigray region, hours after an ultimatum for Tigray forces to surrender expired.

The PM’s statement was released via his Twitter page, where he said the 72-hour period granted to the criminal Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) clique to surrender peacefully was over, and that the law enforcement campaign had reached its final stage.

Mr. Ahmed was quoted as saying “When the federal government issued the 72-hour surrender time, it had two objectives… it was to demonstrate that the intention of our operations is to enforce the rule of law per the laws of the land. If the TPLF clique chose to peacefully surrender, the campaign would have been finalized with the least amount of damage.”

Ahmed added that the second objective of the 72-hour surrender time was to provide protection for those who understand the criminality of the TPLF clique and to dissociate themselves from the group.

Read also: Tigray Crisis: Ethiopian PM Warns Against International Interference

He noted that within that time, thousands of Tigray Special Forces and militia members had surrendered to the National Defence Force and many young people had refrained from engaging in TPLF’s destructive ambitions.

In his statement, the Prime Minister said that, while the Ethiopian National Defence Forces have been directed to conclude the third and final phase of the operations, great care will be taken to protect innocent civilians from harm.

However, he has warned civilians to stay away from combat zones, saying “we call on the people of Mekelle and its environs to disarm, stay at home, stay away from military targets, and to take all necessary precautions.”

He has also asked the people of Mekelle to play their part towards minimising damages to be sustained, because of a handful of criminal TPLF elements, by exposing and handing over the criminal clique to law enforcement agents.

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Ethiopia Accuses Tigray Of Killing 600 People In Massacre

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Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has said investigations from the incident at Mai Kadra on the 9th of November showed that some Tigrayan youths killed 600 civilians.

The EHRC who are appointed by the state said the killings had ethnic leanings.

In its preliminary report, it said youths from Tigray, aided by the Police and local officials carried out door-to-door” raids, killing hundreds they identified as ethnic “Amharas and Wolkait.”

The EHRC describes itself as an “independent national” institution. It accused the TPLF alongside local Tigrayan militia and police security, of committing crimes against humanity, before they went back to their shell on the advance of Ethiopian forces.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has not shifted base since the battle started. On Monday, he gave the TPLF a 72-hour ultimatum which has now expired as the Tigray officials stay rooted to their desires too.

Both forces have had daggers drawn since the 4th of November over issues that seem to have ethnic and political colouration.

Not less than 41,000 Ethiopian nationals have fled to neighbouring Sudan for safety as the conflict keeps intensifying.

On Wednesday, African Union envoys arrived Ethiopia, with Ahmed warning against international interference.

He has refused to dialogue with the TPLF and has warned Tigrayan civilians to persuade their leadership.

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