Hundreds have died in the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region and thousands more have fled. As the TPLF and Ahmed trade jabs, thousands of refugees are in dire need of humanitarian assistance in Sudanese camps.
The leader of Ethiopia's Tigray region has asked Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to withdraw troops from the region two days after Abiy declared victory.
Debretsion Gebremichael, in a phone interview with The Associated Press, said he was still near the Tigray capital, Mekele, which the Ethiopian army on Saturday said it now controlled. Far from accepting Abiy's declaration of victory, the Tigray leader asserted that ''we are sure we'll win.''
He also accused the Ethiopian forces of carrying out a ''genocidal campaign'' against the Tigray people. With the Tigray region still cut off a month after the fighting began, no one knows how many people have been killed, and it's difficult to verify the warring sides' claims.
The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) which controls the country's northern region bordering Eritrea and Sudan once dominated Ethiopian politics as part of a ruling coalition called the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
During its 27 years in power, the country witnessed massive improvements in child mortality and agriculture. But the country remained a one-party state fueling feelings of exclusion among younger Ethiopians.
Abiy Ahmed who run on the promise of political reform, has been accused by the TPLF of political targeting and sidelining. The fight is about self-determination of the region of some 6 million people, the Tigray leader said, and it ''will continue until the invaders are out.''
Abiy said federal forces were monitoring Tigray's leaders who had fled west of the capital and would soon attack them.
UN calls for helps as conflict worsens refugee crisis
As the two leaders traded accusations, more than 45,000 people have been displaced, many of them seeking shelter in camps in Sudan, according to the UN.
Conditions in the camps are tough and the health situation precarious. Medics with aid group Mercy Corps at the Um Raquba camp told AFP earlier that they had seen multiple cases of dysentery and tuberculosis, malaria and HIV among the refugees.