Ethiopia is facing a prolonged conflict between government forces and troops in its northern Tigray region which has caused tens of thousands to flee.
The unrest erupted in early November, just a year after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize for resolving the 20-year border conflict with Eritrea.
Sky News looks at how the violence started, why it did and what effect it is having on Ethiopia‘s people.
What is happening in Ethiopia?
On 4 November, the prime minister sent troops to a military base in the northern region of Tigray, which borders Eritrea and Sudan.
He accused the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF), of attacking the base and announced in a televised broadcast days later the Ethiopian military had bombed the facility in retaliation.
Soon after, massacres were reported that were blamed on the TPLF and also militia from the neighbouring Amhara region of Ethiopia, which were supporting government troops.
Tigray forces fired rockets that hit Amhara and Eritrea, which also joined the war in support of Ethiopian government forces.
Tigray has a paramilitary force and a local militia of about 250,000, according to the International Crisis Group. At the time, communication in the region was cut off, so only a limited number of reports made it out.
By 23 November, Ethiopian forces reached and circled the Tigrayan capital Mekelle, with a direct assault starting five days later with heavy shelling, after civilians were warned to leave.
Later that evening, President Abiy announced the city had been taken but reports said the TPLF and its loyal forces had fled, vowing to fight on.
Since then, fighting has continued, with further allegations of massacres being blamed on Ethiopian and Eritrean forces, despite denials from both.
Three days before Christmas in the UK, the UN rights chief called for an investigation into the alleged mass killing of several hundred people, mainly Amharans, in the western Tigray town of Mai Kadra, on 9 November.
Tigrayan forces have also been blamed for killings of civilians.
When Sky News’s John Sparks travelled south from the regional capital Mekelle, he found evidence of shallow graves amid roadside towns patrolled by Eritrean and Ethiopian troops.
Residents told Sky about a massacre that took place on 23 February in the village of Cheli, which involved the death of between 80 and 200 people, that they blamed on Ethiopian forces and the Eritrean army.
The UN Human Rights Commissioner and other NGOs have called for an immediate independent investigation into allegations of massacres.
Why is the conflict happening now?
Before populist Mr Abiy was elected in 2018 off the back of anti-government protests, Ethiopia was ruled by the TPLF as part of a coalition after overthrowing the former dictatorship in 1991.
The current government says it has worked hard to include members of the former ruling coalition and previously excluded ethnic groups – but this has not included the TPLF.
Tigray has openly resisted Mr Abiy’s call to unify the country by increasing the central government’s power, as have other regions and ethnic groups.
The TPLF viewed the ruling coalition as illegal and after Mr Abiy cancelled elections due to COVID-19, they set up their own election board to oversee regional elections in September.
Mr Abiy said he does not recognise the results of those elections and banned foreign journalists from travelling to Tigray to document the election.
The government in Addis Ababa voted to cut funds to the TPLF in October, which further enraged its leaders.
How has the conflict affected civilians?
Tens of thousands of Ethiopians have fled Tigray into Sudan since early November, with the United Nations (UN) predicting 200,000 will have fled within six months.
In November, the UN said 6,000 refugees were entering Sudan every day, with almost 60,000 having crossed over so far.
Tigray was already home to as many as 200,000 refugees and displaced people, UN agencies said.
Meanwhile, more than 500,000 Tigrayans have lost their homes.
One aid worker told Sky News humanitarian agencies only have access to between 30% and 40% of Tigray and, for some time, journalists were also not allowed in to report on what is happening.
Doctors Without Borders have said nearly 70% of 106 health facilities it surveyed from mid-December to early March had been looted and more than 30% had been damaged, with only 13% functioning normally.
Thousands are still fleeing and many have horror stories of seeing their friends and family killed, while others do not know the location of their families.
Sudan’s Um Raquba camp has reopened to house refugees 20 years after closing, after hosting thousands of Ethiopians during the country’s worst famine of the 20th century from 1983 to 1985.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week that some of the atrocities in Tigray amount to “ethnic cleansing,” but Ethiopia said the accusation was unfounded.
He said Eritrean troops and fighters from Amhara should leave and the region must have “a force that will not abuse the human rights of the people of Tigray”.
What does the conflict mean for the wider region?
It risks destabilising the region and could lead to the mass displacement of Africa’s second most populous country, with 110 million people.
A close military ally of the United States, Ethiopia was seen as an essential element in maintaining peace in the fragile Horn of Africa.
But this could be shattered by the war spilling into Eritrea, and by the fact about 96,000 Eritrean refugees living in Tigray could be displaced again.
With Ethiopian refugees fleeing into Sudan, which already had 1.1 million refugees, this risks destabilising the fragile transition it is going through, alongside the economic crisis it is already in.
Ethiopia also runs a successful peacekeeping mission in neighbouring Somalia, but that is now under threat because of its inner turmoil.
(c) Sky News 2021: Ethiopia conflict: What are they fighting about and why?