ADDIS ABABA - The security situation in Ethiopia's conflict-hit Tigray regional state "remains volatile," the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said Thursday.
"The security situation in Tigray remains volatile with a gradual improvement in some areas in the Eastern and Western Zones, although insecurity and bureaucratic constraints remain," the UNOCHA said in its situation report published on Thursday.
"As the security situation in some areas of Tigray region is slightly improving, humanitarian workers have been able to access areas that were so far inaccessible, particularly in cities," said the report.
However, "localized fighting and insecurity continue, with fighting reported in rural areas and in the peripheries of Mekelle, Shiraro and Shire, among other locations, as of last week," it added
Noting that access to most parts of North Western, Eastern and Central Tigray remains constrained due to the ongoing insecurity and bureaucratic hurdles, the UNOCHA stressed that Hitsats and Shimelba refugee camps are still not accessible.
The latest situation update came after the two joint assessment missions that were deployed on Dec. 20 are completed.
"Both missions have witnessed a dire humanitarian situation with poor access to services and limited livelihoods," the report read.
The UNOCHA also stressed that it continues "to closely work with Government counterparts to streamline the cargo/assessment clearance mechanism, and enable a quicker clearance process."
Weeks of fighting in northern Ethiopia's Tigray region between the Tigray People's Liberation Front, which used to rule the region until its defeat, and the Ethiopian Defense Forces have reportedly left hundreds of people dead, thousands displaced, and millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
More than 55,500 refugees have fled Tigray into eastern Sudan over the past six weeks, according to the UNOCHA.