BBC Tigrinya and Kalkidan Yibeltal
(bbc)–The rebel group in Ethiopia’s Tigray region says that 150 people may have died of starvation as the humanitarian crisis worsens in the region.
The Ethiopian government has not reacted to the allegation. But it’d previously rejected accusations by the UN that it was blocking aid.
The TPLF’s agriculture chief Atinkut Mezgebo said people and livestock were dying from lack of food and medicines “and the crisis might be bigger than what we know”.
He told BBC Tigrinya that people were dying ‘’in front of our eyes because of starvation’’ and that women and children were most affected by the food shortage.
It’s nearly impossible to independently verify the allegations as phone lines and the internet remain cut off in Tigray.
But relief agencies have long been warning of a worsening humanitarian crisis with disastrous consequences.
The statement released by Tigrayan forces on Monday said that some of the deaths occurred in camps hosting people displaced by the ongoing conflict.
The humanitarian situation in Tigray remains dire.
At least 100 trucks of food and non-food items must enter the region every day to meet the humanitarian needs, according to the UN . But less than 500 trucks have arrived since mid-July.
The number of people needing emergency assistance exceeds five million and 400,000 face famine-like conditions.
With active fighting in bordering Afar and Amhara regions between Tigrayan forces and the army and its allied forces, it’s feared that that number could even get higher.