New York, 27 August 2022 (TDI): UNICEF condemned the airstrike in Mekelle, the capital city of the Tigray region, Northern Ethiopia. The strike hit a kindergarten, killing and injuring several children.

In a statement, UNICEF Executive Director, Catherine Russell, said that Children have once again borne the brunt of escalation in violence in northern Ethiopia.

Moreover, she added that children and families in the region had endured the agony of this dispute for almost two years. Therefore, it must be ceased.

Details of the incident 

The airstrike on Mekelle on Friday was conducted two days after the ceasefire was breached by fighting between the national government and Tigrayan forces on the border of the Tigray and Amhara regions.

A ceasefire in March halted the worst of the killing. It permitted assistance convoys to re-enter Tigray, where the UN reports that millions are facing acute starvation, and fuel and medicine are in limited supply.

Medical officials have reported that at least seven people have died due to the airstrike on a children’s playground in the capital of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.

Northern Ethiopia
Airstrike in a playground of Mekelle, Tigray region of Ethiopia, left at least 7 people dead.

Moreover, officials reported three children among the deceased, although a federal government spokesperson denied any civilian casualties.

However, Tigrai Television, owned and operated by regional authorities, attributed the strike to the federal government. In Ethiopian airspace, no additional military aircraft operates.

Subsequently, the Ethiopian federal government urged Tigrayans to avoid and stay away from military facilities, stating that it intended to “take actions to target the military forces.” Also, it accused Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces of staging civilian deaths.

UNHRC Chief statement

UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet said she’s alarmed by the resumption of hostilities in Northern Ethiopia.

UNHRC Chief added that civilians have suffered enough, which will only exacerbate the suffering of civilians already in desperate need.

Furthermore, she implored the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front to “work to de-escalate the situation and immediately cease hostilities.”

The International community, urging both sides to peacefully end the brutal war in Africa’s second-most populous country, is alarmed by the return to hostilities.