Panafrican News Agency

Ethiopian crisis: UNICEF strongly condemns air strike that hit kindergarten in Mekelle

New York, US (PANA) - The UN children's fund (UNICEF) has strongly condemned the air strike in Mekelle, the capital city of the Tigray Region, of Ethiopia, as fresh fighting broke out between the Government in Addis Ababa and the regional Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) on Wednesday.

An air strike hit a kindergarten, killing several children, and injuring others, UNICEF said in a statement.

UNICEF also called on all parties to agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities.

“Yet again, an escalation of violence in northern Ethiopia has caused children to pay the heaviest price. For almost two years, children and their families in the region have endured the agony of this conflict. It must end,” UNICEF said.

The Government and TPLF have blamed each other for starting the war again.

The Government said the TPLF launched offensives on the eastern front at 5 am on Wednesday morning.

The Government has said it shot down a plane delivering arms to the TPLF but the leadership of the Front has denied it.

The conflict between the Addis Ababa government and TPLF started on 4 November 2020 when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military offensive after TPLF forces attacked a federal army base in Mekelle. 

Fighting sparked massive displacement, widespread destruction of livelihoods and infrastructure, loss of employment and a huge humanitarian crisis.

The Ethiopian Government declared a unilateral ceasefire in June 2021 but tension has remained between the two sides.

-0- PANA MA 28Aug2022