Fighting in Tigray broke out nine days ago and hundreds have reportedly been killed so far
All the 104 readymade garment factory workers, who were stuck in Ethiopia's conflict-torn northern Tigray region, have been rescued with support from the United Nations (UN).
Following diplomatic developments, the workers of DBL Industries PLC, Ethiopia were rescued from Tigray with the support from UN convoy and were on their way to Addis Ababa, thecapital of Ethiopia, at the time if filing this report at 5:46pm. on Saturday.
MA Jabbar, managing director of the DBL Group confirmed the development and said they have reserved hotels in the Ethiopian capital for the accommodation of the workers there.
“Next course of action will be decided upon their arrival,” he said.
He thanked Bangladesh Foreign Ministry for rescuing the workers.
Earlier, the Bangladeshi workers employed at a DBL factory in Ethiopia were living in uncertainties as they remained stuck in the conflict-torn northern Tigray region of the country.
“Our topmost priority is to relocate the workers to a safe zone from Tigray. Then, we will take the decision about the next course of action for them,” Jabbar said.
“To this end, we are keeping in touch with Bangladesh Embassy in Ethiopia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here to relocate the workers from the conflict zone,” he added.
DBL Group was also closely working with United Nations (UN) organizations in Ethiopia to ensure safe relocation of workers, the DBL MD also said.
“On top of that, we are working with the Ethiopian Investment Commission and Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Industry to find a suitable solution for the matter,” Jabbar further added.
An escalating conflict in northern Ethiopia between federal troops and forces loyal to the Tigray regional government is raising fears of civil war in Africa’s second most populated country.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Ambassador to Ethiopia Md Nazrul Islam told this newspaper that they were in touch with UN bodies for safe relocation of the expats stranded at the conflict zone.
“DBL Group sought support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard and we are working on it. For now, we are trying to relocate them to a safe place from the conflict torn areas,” Nazrul said.
Currently, all the roads are blocked in the region while electricity, phone lines and the Internet is cut off, making communication nearly impossible in the area.
Fighting in Tigray between the federal government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), a regional force that controls Tigray, the country's northernmost state, broke out nine days ago and hundreds have reportedly been killed so far, as fears of an escalating conflict are growing.
On Monday, human rights campaigner Amnesty International confirmed "scores, and likely hundreds, of people who were either stabbed or hacked to death in Mai-Kadra (May Cadera) town."
On Friday, the UN warned of possible war crimes in Tigray, after 10 days of fighting that the country's prime minister claimed had his enemy "in the final throes of death."