While the deaths from malnutrition — recorded between June last year and April 1 — are close to 2,000, the number is likely higher as most hunger deaths go unrecorded.
The war-torn region of nearly six million people has been subject to what the UN said is a de-facto blockade with the government and rebels both accused of human rights violations.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has catalogued a litany of abuses, including torture, gang rape and enforced disappearances, saying some may amount to war crimes.
The state of emergency was imposed in early November as Tigray rebels fighting Ethiopian forces moved closer to the capital, Addis Ababa.
Tigray rebels "massacred innocent people, looted and destroyed various institutions," Afar administration says, while the UN calls for end to fighting which it says is blocking aid to neighbouring Tigray region.
"Humanitarian partners suspended activities in the area due the ongoing threats of drone strikes," says UN agency for humanitarian affairs.
The hospital in the town of Shire where victims were taken reported at least 55 people dead and 126 injured, according to an official in Tigray's capital Mekele.
The ministry of justice said the Tigray detainees “were granted amnesty taking into consideration their age and health condition.”
The UN did not specify who carried out the strike but only that the Ethiopian government has air power in the area.
Lawmakers pass bill to set up 11-member commission but it will not engage with Tigray or Oromo rebels at this stage.
Addis Ababa says its military will remain in recently-liberated northern Amhara and Afar regions, adding the TPLF rebels have been hit hard and are no longer capable of "executing wishes."
UN suspends aid distribution after large quantities of supplies including items for malnourished children are looted from the warehouses of northern Kombolcha town.
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