The United Nations says it needs urgent access to tens of thousands of vulnerable people in Tigray in northern Ethiopia.
The UN children’s agency (Unicef) said roads needed to be opened and humanitarian flights allowed in to deliver essential supplies, as more than 30,000 children risk imminent death.
“We also need to make sure that the telecommunications are restored, that power is reconnected and we need to make sure we have access to the people that need to humanitarian assistance,” Unicef’s representative Adele Khodr, told the BBC.
A government official in the capital, Addis Ababa, said the military could retake Tigray’s regional capital, Mekelle, in three weeks if necessary.
It was seized on Monday by rebel forces.
The army says it left the city because it needs to prepare for other threats, and the Tigrayan rebels are no longer a problem.