At least twenty-five hundred Ethiopians have fled the fighting in Tigray region into neighbouring Sudan. An official there said the refugee exodus is expected to swell.
Hundreds have died in air strikes and fighting in an escalating conflict some fear could slide into civil war because of deep animosity between the Tigrayans and prime minister Abiy Ahmed.
Local Tigrayan authorities were reported to have captured an airport on Tuesday while regional forces controlled a government military base.
The African Union (AU) has called for a ceasefire.
Foreign media had no access to Tigray on Tuesday as phone and internet services have been shut down. There was no immediate response from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which governs the state of more than 5 million people.
Ethiopia said on Tuesday peace talks are only possible with Tigray’s local government if military hardware is destroyed, federal officials are released from custody and leaders of the region are arrested.
African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat, has called for the “immediate cessation of hostilities” in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. Mahamat also urged the central government and Tigray’s state authorities to engage in dialogue to seek a peaceful solution. He expressed au’s readiness to support an effort to resolve the conflict.
Okonjo-Iweala Named Forbes Africa Person Of The Year
Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has on Tuesday been named Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2020.
Forbes Africa disclosed this in a tweet saying Okonjo-Iweala who is a candidate for the office of the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has been named “The 2020 African person of the Year.”
Reacting to the news, Okonjo-Iweala said she is “thrilled to be named Forbes Africa-CNBC ‘2020 African of the Year’ following in the footsteps of my great brothers Paul Kagame and Akin Adesina.”
She added “This award is for Africans suffering the health and economic impact of COVID-19. The energy and resilience of Africans inspires me”.
Mauritania Uncovers Illegal Migration Networks
Mauritanian authorities say they have uncovered more than 30 illegal migration networks and repatriated around 4,000 persons to various west African countries.
Interior minister, Mohamed Salem Ould Merzoug, told local media there had been an increase in the number of persons trying to reach Spain’s Canary Islands – an alternative route to the Mediterranean Sea where some migrants have been deterred by stricter controls and instability in Libya.
The United Nations has called for greater efforts to disrupt people-smuggling rings, after more than 140 persons died off the coast of Senegal in October in the deadliest shipwreck of the year.
Amnesty Urges UN To Maintain South Sudan Arms Embargo
Amnesty International is urging the United Nations Security Council to maintain its arms embargo on South Sudan amid what the human rights group calls “extreme violence by government forces, and an increase in attacks on civilians, including war crimes.”
The UN security council is due to conduct a mid-term review of its arms embargo and other measures on South Sudan before mid-December.
The council first established an arms embargo on South Sudan in 2018. It was renewed last year and subsequently extended by a year in may this year.
Amnesty says it had documented “a series of extrajudicial executions, forced displacement, torture, and destruction of civilian property by government and former opposition forces.”
The group cited a four-fold increase in violence in the states of Jonglei, Lakes, Warrap and Western Equatoria between April and June compared to the same period last year.
Amnesty says as South Sudan was calling for the embargo to be reviewed earlier this year, “government soldiers were shooting civilians, burning homes, raping women and girls, and displacing tens of thousands of people from their villages in the south of the country.”