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SG/SM/21102

Secretary-General Deeply Saddened by Deadly Air Strikes in Northern Ethiopia

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by reports that more than 50 civilians have been killed and injured in an air strike in northern Ethiopia at midnight on 7 January.  The attack reportedly took place in a site hosting internally displaced people in the town of Dedebit in Tigray region.  Earlier last week another air strike hit the Mai Aini refugee camp, also in Tigray, resulting in the death of three Eritrean refugees, including two children.

The United Nations and its humanitarian partners are working with authorities to urgently mobilize emergency assistance in the area, despite continuing challenges due to severe shortages of fuel, cash and supplies across Tigray.

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the impact the conflict continues to have on civilians in Ethiopia.  He expresses his deepest condolences to the victims and their families.  The Secretary-General reiterates his call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, including air strikes, and for all parties to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law to facilitate humanitarian access and to ensure the protection of civilians, including humanitarian actors, premises and sites.

For information media. Not an official record.