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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Ethiopian territory claims 7,000 civilians killed by Tigre forces

Fasika Tadesi and Simon Marx | bloomberg

About 7,000 civilians in Ethiopia’s Amhara region were killed by fighters from the northern Tigre region between June and December last year, according to a report commissioned by the regional government.

The study, carried out by researchers from local universities and the Office of Regional Statistics and released on Saturday, found that 6,986 people died in the Horn of the African nation’s province, which borders Tigre, in which nearly 3,000 civilians were shot. was killed.

It also documents that several mass graves were found at sites in the Amhara region. Tigre’s government rejected the findings.

Fighting first broke out in Ethiopia in November 2020 when forces loyal to the state’s ruling Tigre People’s Liberation Front attacked a federal army base, prompting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to order an invasion of Tigre. The war spread to neighboring areas, including Amhara.

While hostilities have subsided since the agreement on March 25, conflict has erupted elsewhere in Africa’s second most populous country. Federal troops and regional forces in the Oromia region have staged an offensive against the Oromo Liberation Army – a rebel group designated by the government as a terrorist organization.

The Amhara government did not provide evidence of the claims in the report, saying the information was based on field observations and interviews with witnesses and victims’ families. Denekyu Bitav, a researcher at Bahir Dar University, told reporters in Amhara’s capital that regional authorities have compiled videos, audio files and photographs to support the alleged crimes.

The report also said that 271 people died of starvation in Amhara due to the war, while 7,506 people were allegedly abducted and have not been seen again.

Getachev Reda, a senior member of the Tigre government, denied that the military in his area had targeted civilians.

“Responding to the fictitious numbers of Amhara officials is exhausting,” he wrote in a text message. “We have never targeted civilians in Amhara, despite the government’s open call for civilians to join the fight.”

The war in Ethiopia killed tens of thousands of people and left millions in need of food aid. The United Nations estimates that more than 1.2 million people have been displaced since the start of the Tigre.

According to rights groups, tigresses have also been victims of widespread crimes.

In April, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said Amhara’s forces, backed by federal troops, had carried out systematic, ethnic-targeted attacks on the neighboring Tigre that amounted to humanitarian and war crimes.


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