About 150 people died of starvation in Ethiopia’s war-hit Tigray region in August, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has said. These are the first hunger-related deaths that the TPLF has reported since its fighters recaptured most of the region from federal forces in June. There is no independent confirmation of its statement. The UN previously said that about 400,000 were already living in famine-like conditions in Tigray. The federal government has not responded to the TPLF statement. About 5.2 million people – or 90% of Tigray’s population – urgently needed aid “to avert the world’s worst famine situation in decades”, the UN said last week. The TPLF and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed were once allies in the government, but fell out over his political reforms, triggering the war that has killed thousands and displaced millions since November. In a statement on Monday, the TPLF said there was a “complete depletion of food stocks” in Tigray. People living in camps after being displaced by conflict were receiving “no aid” and host communities were running out of food, it said. The TPLF said the 150 deaths were recorded in the central, southern and eastern zones of Tigray, as well in camps in the city of Shire – the birthplace of the group’s leader Debretsion Gebremichael.
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