Addis Ababa: A report by the Amnesty International (AI) says Eritrean forces extrajudicially killed at least 40 people in Sheraro town, in North Western Zone of the Tigray Regional state between 06 and 12 September 2022. The victims include Eritrean refugees.
The statement further says that in August and September alone multiple air strikes in Mekelle and Adi Daero “killed hundreds of civilians including children”. The rights group says there are fears of fresh atrocities looming in Tigray as conflict intensifies and called on warring parties to protect civilians.
Amnesty International’s East and Southern Africa Director Muleya Mwananyanda says: “Tigrayan civilians are afraid that the widespread abuses, such as killings and sexual violence, hat were rampant when the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and its allied forces were in control of these areas from November 2020 to June 2021, might happen again”.
The Ethiopian Government however said in a statement on October October 17 that its forces will “strictly abide” by international law and have been instructed to avoid urban combat to prevent civilian casualties.
Despite growing calls from the international community for Eritrean forces to withdraw from Ethiopia, the Ethiopian government has not said anything about their involvement in the ongoing war in Tigray, which has resumed on 24 August ending five months humanitarian truce that has seen several attempts brokered by the international community to bring the war, which started in November 2020 and devastated Afar, Amhara and Tigray regional states, to a peaceful resolution.
In March 2021, Ethiopia had admitted for the first time the involvement of Eritrean forces when PM Abiy Ahmed told Ethiopian parliament that “any damage Eritrean army did to our people was unacceptable.”
The atrocities committed against Tigrayan civilians by Eritrean forces has long been documented by human rights organizations, including the state backed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which reported the grave human rights violations and attack against civilians in the historic and religious city of Axum.
Amnesty’s latest statement comes as federal government and Tigrayan representative are expected to convene in South Africa for the much anticipated AU-led peace talks. AS