World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has described the situation in Tigray, Ethiopia as "horrific, very horrific" in rare public remarks by the Ethiopian on the conflict there.
The WHO director-general has been accused by his country's militia of supporting and trying to procure arms and diplomatic backing for Tigray state's dominant political party which is fighting federal forces.
Tedros has denied taking sides in the conflict.
Massacres and rape?
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops into Tigray in November after accusing the once dominant regional ruling party of orchestrating attacks on federal army camps.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy declared victory later that month when the army entered the regional capital Mekele.
But fighting continues and the six-month conflict has sparked allegations of massacres and rape by Ethiopian forces and troops from neighbouring Eritrea.
World leaders and aid agencies have repeatedly called for full humanitarian access to the crisis-wracked areas as fears grow of impending humanitarian disaster.
Eritrean troops have been accused of being involved in blocking and looting food supplies – despite pledges that they would be pulled out from the country.