On December 16, Ethiopian Defense Forces captured the Wgoye town in northern Somalia. According to the UN, 36 troops were killed, and some 330,000 people were left homeless, crossing the border into Somaliland, where people now face the threat of starvation due to the resulting lack of food.
UNICEF estimates that nearly 6,600 children have been displaced and may be in need of humanitarian assistance. The majority of children have been living in makeshift shelters for close to two months. Thousands more have been unable to reach schools and medical centers, which have been forced to use tents or other structures to house displaced children. Famine remains a risk if international assistance is not immediately increased.
Amidst humanitarian concerns, the Ethiopian government has reported that more than 1,200 people have been arrested, with multiple cases of rape and other sexual violence reported. UNICEF spokesperson Yasmin Mohamed also reported there has been an increase in intimidation against aid workers, some of whom have been attacked and beaten.