Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict erupts after brief lull
01 September 2022 | 9:06 am
The renewed flareup of armed conflict in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region has dashed hopes of the first steps toward peace negotiations. Both sides seem set on a military solution, with dire consequences for civilians.
The U.N. human rights chief said on Monday the situation in northern Ethiopia had deteriorated since November and her office had received reports of wide-spread violations including rapes and lethal airstrikes. Michelle Bachelet told the Geneva-based Human Rights Council her staff had recorded 304 deaths and injuries to 373 people in air attacks "apparently carried out by the Ethiopian Air Force" in Tigray and Afar regions.
At least 53 people died after an unidentified armed group attacked a civilian convoy. The previously unreported attack occurred in March. A video appearing to show men in military uniform burning victims alive prompted the government to say it would find those responsible.
Human rights were among the first casualties of the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia. While both sides continue to accuse each other of atrocities, independent organizations find it increasingly difficult to monitor abuses.
Tigray fighters have agreed to uphold a cease-fire in the war-ravaged Tigray region to allow for the delivery of aid. Hundreds of thousands of people in Tigray face starvation.
The Ethiopian Government declared the cessation of hostilities on Thursday, saying that it was to allow aid to reach stricken civilians. Hours later, Tigrayan authorities issued a statement saying that they would do everything possible, to make the humanitarian ceasefire, a success.
Aid convoys have yet to reach Ethiopia's war-ravaged Tigray region almost a week after the government announced a humanitarian truce.
Tigrayans are being targeted with ethnic cleansing in the contested Western Tigray zone, according to a new report by human rights groups. The onslaught of rape and killings amounts to "war crimes," they added.
A group of young people in Ethiopia’s Hawassa city is leading the fray to tackle the solid and organic waste menace that has dogged the city for years. The group moves door to door to collect the waste on their donkey carts. They have a recycling plant where they separate the waste and produce natural fertilizer from the organic waste.
In Ethiopia's northern Afar region, discarded explosives have been maiming and killing children at an alarming rate, medical workers told Reuters. Fighting that began in November 2020 in the Tigray region and spread last year to Afar has eased in recent weeks. But even as open combat subsides, civilians continue to bear the costs of a war that has killed thousands, displaced millions and left hundreds of thousands suffering famine conditions.
Tigray fighters have withdrawn from the Afar and Amhara regions, but people there remain wary. DW's Mariel Müller reports from the Amhara town of Lalibela, where more are taking up arms.
The war in Ethiopia has left tens of thousands dead and millions displaced, as government troops and the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front battle over territory. A UN investigation found all sides in the conflict had committed atrocities, including rape. Warning: This report contains descriptions of sexual violence.
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